In The Eyes Of The Beholder

“It’s just so spectacular, Cathy!” Mr Henri exclaimed, eyes wide with admiration. “Just look at it! So wonderfully vivid and exquisite. It’s a riot of colours and shades. Look at that yellow there, how it just oozes into the green, and that smattering of blue dots, like jewels in an intricate crown. It’s an amalgam of hues, all spread out like a-a-a feast! Yes, a feast for the eyes! The way you have transformed this bland, lifeless white canvas into a saga, my child. A saga of art. It tells a story of genius, of artistic inspiration, of a frenzy of creativity, innovation and pure genius! It looks like rivers flowing into each other, so seamless, so smooth, so flawless!” Mr Henri beamed at Cathy, who was desperately trying to get a word in. Her efforts were in vain.

“So, needless to say, the first prize in the competition has been bagged by Cathy Rogers, for her masterpiece of a painting, which is indeed a marvellous symphony of colours, a collaboration between every hue in the world to produce one inimitable, harmonious piece of clarity and cohesiveness, a…”

One of the panellists ostentatiously cleared his throat, and Henri scowled, clearly peeved that his lecture was interrupted. The tension was diffused when Cathy walked onto stage to accept her trophy. Alfred placed it in her hands quite happily, feeling that she most certainly deserved it.

“Before you go, Ms Rogers, I’d like to ask you something. “

“Go right ahead, Mr Henri.”

“How did you produce this wondrous beauty, clearly a harbinger of your very bright future in art?”

“Well, I didn’t, really.”

Mr Henri was puzzled. “Whatever do you mean? This is your painting, is it not?”

“Well, yes and no. It is on my canvas, and I didn’t take outside help, but I didn’t exactly paint it.”

“But I’m not sure I understand, mademoiselle. How could you have painted it without painting it?”

“Yesterday, just as I had left my easel on the floor to dry, the power went out, and I knocked my art supplies stand, with most of the paint pots still open, clean over. All the paint spilled onto my canvas, and I had no option but to turn it in like this. Still, worked out for the best, eh?”

Henri was bumfuzzled. “So you are saying that this piece of miracle of art is… the result of a clumsy accident?”

“Oh no, I wouldn’t say that. After all, I was the one who placed my supplies stand and paint pots in such fortuitous positions!”

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