A mother lays in a white-washed room, outside a window I paint a clear blue sky. She lays in a plain bed, in a pale blue robe and smiles down upon the pink bundle in her arms. Her blond hair curtains the baby’s small face from the glare of the sun outside. I paint a mother’s bright blue eyes, that seem to all the world the happiest in this moment. I finish with the stroke of a black line, outlining the child’s gaze of pure adoration as she looks up at her mother.
I paint a mother racing around the rows upon rows of flowers and trees. Her arms outstretched and grin wide as she readies herself to grab the and giggling little girl in pigtails. The small girl’s pale blue dress flows against the wind as she dashes in and out of the flower beds, crushing the blues and reds as she races. I splatter soft shades of scarlet red, to add to the masses of red roses.
I paint a mother who stands head held high underneath a white vail, as she stands side by side with a tall man on an altar. Her long white dress is sprawled across the wooden floor and covers the orange flower petals that a small girl in pig tails throws around. The lean man looks down at a mother in admiration as he takes her hand and slides a ring of gold onto her finger, she grins warming the room like a fire. I texturize the smooth silk dress with fresh drops of water, then take the picture and hang it on the wall next to the others.
A mother walks hand in hand with a tall man and a very small boy in her arms as a girl in pig tails struggles to ride ahead on a four wheeled bike. A mother’s eyes look so full of life as I add microdetails to the ocean blue specks.
A mother tightly holds the hands of crying children as the tall man yells and grips an empty beer bottle with his muscular hands. I paint the anger in his eyes, they radiate a red of hell fire. A mother puts herself in front of the children, holding them behind her back as the man shouts soundless threats. I add the complex details of his clenched hand, as it’s thrown towards the mother.
I paint a mother as she crouches by a boy that clutches his stomach and frowns as he grits his teeth in pain. A mother reaches down to him her eyes full of unknown fear and the young girl looks confused and only holds her gaze as he crumples to the ground.
I paint a mother that watches the familiar clear blue sky outside a white-washed room. But this time sits outside a glass barrier as she watches her son in a blue robe get wheeled into a heavy set of doors, beyond her view. I etch in the vibrations of her shaking hand as she waits.
A mother sits underneath a tall, old tree on a patched picnic rug, eating a packed lunch with two small children. A girl taking large bites, the boy eating his like a dinosaur eats its prey. I visualise and colour the sun glaring down through the gaps of the leaves, patterning the floor with tiny golden specks among the cool shadow of the coverage.
A mother watches, concerned as a tall girl with long flowing hair climbs the bark of an old, tall tree. Her tongue stuck out in concentration as she reaches for a thin branch above her.
A mother bleeds fine strings of tears from her dull blue eyes as she watches a second time as her child is wheeled beyond thick doors, beyond her view. I add shading to the wailing eyes but I’m not as accurate as I had hoped.
The deafened music and laughter of a dozen people fill the defined ears of a mother, as she gazes with a large smile at a girl with long flowing hair. She blows 18 red candles on top of a large pink frosted cake with her brother, a pale boy whom sits next to her, grinning ear to ear as she puffs out the candles.
A mother gazes from a park bench, blonde hair fading and a wrinkled undereye as she watches her girl play on the swing sets, with a small orange haired baby buckled into a small seat on the swing. Her boy stands from the side watching in glee as the baby smiles and mutely laughs.
I finish with a final stroke of a mother’s smile and look up at the wall next to me, the line upon line of my beautiful, dreamy paintings. I walk over and gaze up at the painting with my little boy in the hospital. I remember that day, the last smile he gave before being wheeled away. But he never came back out the doors again, at least not alive. I was glad I could paint, otherwise I’d be stuck here in reality, where everything hurts and my eyes are always itchy and red. I walk over to my desk and run my wrinkled hand over the cracked, old newspaper, gazing upon the picture of a girl with long flowing hair. I skim the article.
‘… age of sixteen… dropped down from a roof of a twenty-story building… fell to death…’ I look at the beautiful face of my daughter smiling, but I was a mother that knew that smile wasn’t real. I knew she fell to her death, but it was no accident. I wish my painting were real, like they were in my head. I feel hot tears well up in my eyes, so I slam my hand down on a family picture that included my husband. It was his fault that they died. I walk towards my paintings again, my stringy blond hair sticking to my sweaty back. My empty blue eyes wander to an empty canvas that lay, discarded on a bench. Another chance to rewrite my life, the way I want it. I pick it up carefully, as if it defined my life at this moment. I grab my colours and my brushes and start painting again.
A mother lays in a white-washed room…