Adam woke up in a good mood. The night had been friendly and helped him feel inspired in that Spring morning. He took a hot tea and ate two cookies. He was anxious to arrive at his studio, grab a new canvas and use some brushes which had been still for some months.
Today he felt able to make something different. He wanted to leave the quietness of painting landscapes or portraits on demand. He was feeling like making something quite different. He knew that for earning a living he would have to keep painting portraits but today he realized that his studies in Fine Arts wasn’t just about earning a living. He was feeling an artist, so he had to let the world know his art… he couldn’t just keep himself to the portrait hanging on some house’s wall. He slammed the front the door and went quickly to the shed on the backyard where he had all his materials.
He took a new canvas and looked at it with excitement. He wanted it to show something different in a few days. Something of his own, a glimpse of his life, of his flesh and soul.
The canvas standing on the easel, he looked for some paints and brushes. He was convinced that something very special was about to show up. Adam felt that that was his moment. It was the exact moment to show the world all his talent, all his craft and artistry he felt within. He sat on a stool in front of the canvas and started to paint it mentally. He didn’t know very well what to take from his head but he was feeling a new will to communicate the different. He looked at the emptiness of the canvas and started to imagine paradise with all its quietness and joy that was possible. He recalled his desired dream travels: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana beach. He had been delaying that dream for more than ten years. Financial lacking was the main reason. The canvas was still empty.
He kept dreaming of the palm trees on that wonderful beach. All the mix of colours was paradise’s splendour. The deep sea blue mixing with the sky at the horizon. Far, near the point of fugue emerged the heavenly pleasures mixed with terrestrial joy. The tiny colourful bikinis that the girls joyfully walked around the beach stuck on the painter’s eyes with colourful particles that danced to samba rhythms and got together into rainbows. The canvas was still empty.
The smell of the sea together with thousands of scents from tanning lotions mixed by the breeze became a sweet and subtle perfume capable of hypnotizing the most exigent of beings with the most accurate nose. He felt the sand under his feet, warming his soles as well as his spirit through the palms of his hands.
He followed the sound of laughter, the sound of every music and talks from hundreds of people that partied there, in soft amusement. Those were the destinies of all waves, where they all mix into a soft symphony mistakable for a lullaby. He could even taste a coconut juice streaming down his throat, intoxicating his body through each blood vessel, giving him an energy that simultaneously soothed the transparency of his soul and gave him enough vitality to live. He could see Cristo Redentor at the top. God almighty delighted with His works. The canvas was still empty.
Adam felt the will. He felt able to offer his eyes the noblest masterpiece that they were ever able to contemplate. Only that morning, after so many years painting did that pseudo-painter , still living at his parents’ home, did he understand that the painter he imagined to be was completely unfit to the reality he lived in. He took the brushes and was observing the white canvas for some minutes, taking measurements to the piece of white cloth. He finally understood what his paradise was, his joyful paradise.
He ran into his parents’ house, ran up the stairs to the first floor. He knew he was alone. The brush was in his jeans back pocket. He entered his parents’ bedroom and emptied all the drawers. He started collecting all valuable items that he found: earrings, bracelets, mother’s necklaces, the rings, his father’s pocket watch, given by his grandfather. All was paradise at that moment. All served to get into paradise. He ran back to the shed. He picked up his wallet with all his personal documents, the passport, he went to his car and hit the gas pedal into town in order to sell everything and buy a plane ticket, one way, to paradise.
The canvas was still empty.
Photo: Sérgio Moreira
Text: Adão Baptista