An Artist's Conversation | Teen Ink

An Artist's Conversation

December 25, 2009
By Angie O&#39Brien SILVER, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Angie O&#39Brien SILVER, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
9 articles 0 photos 3 comments

“Did you get the paint?”






“What about the stencils?”

“Everything that was on the list is in this bag.”

“Are you sure?”


“How positive?”

“Would you like to conduct your own inventory?”

“Don't be tart. You have a tendency to forget the most important of any series of things. Remember that time when we were going to put up the tree and you bought lights, ornaments, and tinsel, but forgot the tree? Or that time when we did that ocean mural and you forgot to buy the blue paint?”

“I won't be tart if you won't be condescending.”

“I'm not being condescending. I am stating fact. I cannot be held responsible for your mistakes.”

“I do not make mistakes; I make inconsistencies.”

“Call them what you will, but the basic principal remains no matter how you word it. Now, let's have a look at those bags, shall we?”

“Let me go get your list so you can check things off to see if I've missed anything.”

“Didn't I tell you not to be tart?”

“Just look in the bags.”

“Alright. It appears that everything is here.”

“You sound so surprised.”

“I am. It was quite the extensive list. Wait a minute, hang on. Where is my acrylic glaze?”

“What acrylic glaze?”

“The one needed to add the finishing touches. You have got to be kidding me. No. I've been through it twice. It's not in here.”

“There was no acrylic paint on the list.”

“What do you mean it wasn't on the list? I have the list right here. Have a look. It's right there between charcoal and colored pencils.”

“That wasn't the list I had.”

“Of course it is. Look, there's a coffee stain on the corner from when you set your cup down on it before you left.”

“I didn't drink coffee.”

“Then how did that cup get in the sink? Just admit that you forgot it.”


“No? The evidence is plain. If you leave now you can get back before I finish with the top layer.”

“I did not forget it.”

“You're a pathetic liar.”

“Again, if I'm not allowed to be tart, you're not allowed to be condescending.”

“I'm not the one who does not understand the concept of a shopping list.”

“Look at this. Here, give me that list.”

“Don't snatch. It's impolite.”

“Just shut it and listen. Look at that list. All those scribbles and crossings out. How am I meant to know what is and is not a viable item?”

“By getting the ones that are circled. I really don't know how I could have made this any simpler for you. They are even numbered. Look, they go one, two, three-”


“Don't be cheeky just admit you forgot it and go out and pick it up for me.”

“What am I, a lackey?”

“We wouldn't be in this position if you had gotten everything in the first place.”

“Just forget the acrylic paint. That comes in at the end anyway. We can still start on the painting itself.”

“Fine. Set up the canvass over there.”

“There. All set up.”

“It's upside down.”

“No it's not.”

“I'm looking right at it! It's upside down.”

“How can it possibly be upside down? It's a blank canvass. White, white, white, white, no matter which way you turn it.”

“There. I fixed it.”

“It looks the same to me.”

“Of course it does. Go and get me the stencils.”

“Busted down to lackey once again, I see. Fetch this, fetch that.”

“Quit your mutterings and just bring them. Get the green paint, too.”


“For crying out loud, don't just dump them on the table. Do you see bakers slamming down their bags of flower and chucking pans to each other across the kitchen?”

“I don't know. I've never seen bakers in action.”

“Sarcasm. Very childish. Didn't I tell you to get the green paint?”

“That is green.”

“Are you blind as well as deaf? Look at the dot on the lid. That's blue.”

“No, this is blue. That's green. Here, look in the light. Blue. Green.”

“Oh, just make it simpler. Give me that. See look, the label says...”

“What does it say?”

“It doesn't matter what it says.”

“It says green, doesn't it?”

“It's not important.”

“Covering the label? Now who's acting childish?”

“Just hold the stencil steady while I paint.”

“Just don't put too much on. You're going to gunk it all up it you use too much.”

“Please. I am an artist.”

“An artist who uses stencils to paint.”

“Just be quiet and hold it strait. It'll come out crooked otherwise.”

“And then the masterpiece will be ruined, I'm sure.”

“If you are sarcastic with me one more time, I'll leave you to do this project by yourself.”

“But then I shall be without your great wisdom.”

“I mean it. And don't elbow me.”

“I didn't elbow you. Your body got in the way of my arm.”

“That's called elbowing.”

“No it's not.”

“Don't you flick paint at me.”

“What? You're wearing a smock.”

“Not on my face!”

“So now you've got some attractive blue freckles. That's considered to be quite cute on other planets.”

“How would you like to have an attractive blue eye?”

“No need to get violent. Just paint, master. Paint, paint away and let the stencil guide you.”

“Shut up. I need to concentrate.”

“I'm sure kindergarteners need to concentrate too when they're trying to color within the lines.”

“You are beginning to aggravate me.”


“You know what? Maybe we should work on separate paintings.”

“No problem. My painting will be Caesar to your Pompey.”

“That history analogy barely works and hardly makes sense.”

“Does it? Let's go at it then. We'll see who can paint the better painting.”

“That would easily be me.”

“Alright. We get twenty minutes.”

“Is that enough time for you? After all, what have you ever painted? A few random surrealist pieces? Those could mean and represent anything.”

“Stand there and talk; fifteen minutes left.”

“Then give me my stencil back.”

“No, it's already on my canvas.”

“Then switch canvases with me.”

“Sorry, I've already got the vision in my mind.”

“You're a cheat, but that's alright. I'll still beat you.”

“Five minutes left.”

“What's wrong with you? You've gone all cross-eyed and funny.”

“It's nothing.”

“Sure it is.”

“No, not really.”

“I know what it is.”

“No you don't.”

“It's the acrylic glaze, isn't it? You need the acrylic glaze.”


“Let me see your painting. Stop being so childish and get out of the way.”

“Don't you push me-”

“Ah, what a pity. All you needed was that one jar of acrylic glaze and you could have easily defeated me.”

“So you concede that I am better?”

“Only if you had the paint. But you don't and why not? Hmm? No response? Wait, what? I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Could you repeat it a little louder?”

“I forgot the acrylic glaze.”

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This article has 1 comment.

eejushka said...
on Jan. 25 2010 at 12:26 pm
ange! this is wonderful! look my story (your story) is on the site! thanks for the link : )