A Good Start
Bill liked painting more than anything in life. He started painting when he was 15 and people said that as a painter he had quite a lot of talent and had mastered most of the technical requirements. At 22 he had his first one-man show when he was discovered by the critics and his pictures were all sold out, With the money he could afford to marry Leila, rent a studio and stop being a student. To complete his education he went to Italy but after 5 months all the money was spent and he had to return.
Bill never had another show like the first one, though he became a better painter. The critics did not think him modern enough and said he was too academic. From time to time he managed to sell some of his paintings but eventually things had got very tight and he was obliged to look for a job.
The day before he went for an interview with his uncle Bill was especially gloomy. In the morning he went up to one of his unfinished pictures in the studio but he felt he couldn't paint. He threw down his brush and a bright red spot appeared on the board already covered with black and yellow paint from his previous work. The board had been used to protect the floor and was at that moment a mixture of bright colours.
When Bill left, Leila got down to cleaning the studio. She took up the board and put it against the wall to clean the floor. At that moment Garrad, Bill's dealer, came in. Bill had asked him to come, look at his work and arrange a show but the dealer had for some time been uncertain on the matter. So he was looking around the studio, explaining how the gallery was booked up for a year and how he could not really promise Bill a show yet for two years or so.
Suddenly the board against the wall attracted his attention.
"Leila, my dear," he exclaimed. "I felt that there must be something like this. Tell me, why is he keeping it away from us?"
Leila was too shocked to answer. But Garrad went on: "I think it's wonderful. I never doubted Bill would catch up with the modern trends. Now Leila, are there more pictures for a full show? I must go now but I'll be ringing him up. I'm going to change the whole plan and show his new work in the autumn. Tell him not to waste time. As to this one if he wants to sell it, I'll buy it myself."
Leila stayed in the studio till Bill came back. She was too excited to tell him the story clearly and Bill could not understand anything at first. When he realised what had happened he shook with laughter. "You didn't explain the whole thing about the board to him, did you?" he managed to say at last.
"No, I didn't. I couldn't really, I believe I should have, but it would have made him look too silly. I just said I didn't think you'd sell it".
What was Bill to do?
Think of your own ending.
(What was Bill to do? What a thing, he thought, to find waiting for you on your return from taking a job at two pounds a week. He could paint more for an exhibition that very evening and show them to Garrad the next day. After all, why not use it as a start for a good painter's career?)
Date: 2015-01-11; view: 1961