Monday, June 25, 2012

Mangoes for A Client

Months ago, a woman saw my portfolio of paintings and sketches. I can see that she was pleased that she asked me to do a still-life painting of a mango fruit. She planned to hang the piece in her dining room. I agreed. She had some specifications, though.

One, there should be leaves. Done.

Two, it should be a yellow mango. (Yellow is her favorite color, next to brown.) Well, one of the mangoes is yellow. Plus, the green tinge of the other two can be attributed to shadows and reflections.

Three, there should be water droplets. Now, I'll be damned. I missed this lesson in my art class.

So, I presented her this painting last weekend.

My client looked at it closely. She was silent for awhile; her husband piped in that they looked like sour mangoes. I told him that it was just the shadows.

Then, the woman asked for the water droplets. I told her I missed learning that in class and I don't want to ruin my shadows on my mangoes (which I have laboriously figured out! accompanied with dramatic flick of hands!). And as a consolation, if she's still interested to get my services, the water droplets will soon follow.  

Next she asked, "Why blue? Why not white?" I replied that blue brings out the yellow color. Her favorite."

So the woman said, with no ecstatic babble, "Thank you. I am happy."

And I let out a deep breath. Ha!

That certainly went like an oral examination. But I can afford an argument with her for this woman has been my constant client since I was a kid: MY MOTHER. 

As much as she loves to critique my works, Mama used to display my art at home and showed it off to visitors. Unlike my Dad who describes me like a big star, she keeps it simple and humble. And on her 70th birthday, this piece on mangoes will go, as planned, to our dining room where most people convene, on ordinary and special days.

Happy birthday, Ma. This isn't really a medal or an award. But I am giving you a fruit of what I love most to do. 

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