Ghosts of past paintings are not the most well mannered I have come to find, are largely unkempt and smell of smoke. He made me walk up the steps to the studio in front of him clearly taking no chances even though by now I was well assured I was still asleep. Once in the studio, he locked the door and deposited the key into a small leather purse hanging around his neck and pulled the drawstrings tight. He looked around, huge hands on hips, his expanse filling the already cramped area.
‘Well well well’ he murmured to himself softly ‘so they were right after all’
I had no idea who ‘they’ were or what they were supposedly ‘right’ about, I was too busy wondering what the hell he was going to do next. I didn’t have to wait long to find out. With surprising swiftness for a man his size he flung open the studio window and with one long reach of his great paw had deposited two medium sized canvases out into the elements below.
Instinctively I remonstrated with him to stop which caused him to hold up one threatening finger centimeters from my nose
‘Don’t tell me what to do. You had your chance’
‘What do you mean?’
‘These’ he picked up another brace and would have made them follow suit only the second of the two was too large to fit through the window, skinning his thumb in the process. A bead of blood popped crimson. He whimpered like a baby. ‘I hate blood, can’t stand the stuff, can’t stand it’. He danced lightly on one foot.
‘Stay there’ I ordered, not that he was going anywhere and retrieved a small packet of band-aid from an upturned canister on a nearby shelf. A minute later what little bleeding there had been had stopped, mostly by its own accord. He became calmer in himself.
‘Why are flinging all my art out the window’ I asked again.
‘Because it’s my job, that’s what they told me to do’
‘Who are they?’
‘Get rid of it they said’ he continued, looking concerned at his newly wrapped thumb, ignoring my question. I tried to remember I was asleep but was finding it hard in the circumstances. Shouldn’t I have the answers then to my own questions? We looked at each other for a while and then he continued looking at his thumb.
‘Look, there’s better ways to get rid of paintings’ I finally said ‘rather than flinging them out studio windows’
‘The internet, daily emails, newsletters, stuff like that’
He snorted in derision.
‘No one reads that crap’
He stopped looking at this thumb. Standing, he picked up another smaller painting and immediately flung it heaven wards out the open window, almost simultaneously taking holding of a second and a third.
‘Door to door sales’ I shouted at the broad of his back in desperation.
He paused and pushed himself to his full height as much as the ceiling would allow.
‘My Uncle Trevor’ he appeared to be remembering ‘He used to do door-to-door sales. He was a bit weird, but he seemed to make money’ He then looked at the canvas in his hand and with surprise ‘Some of these are good!’
He shoved the painting into my chest
‘Do it’ he said.
In the interest of brevity, I pushed the time to Christmas. He argued Christmas was always a busy time for him as I wasn’t the only one on his list, but taking into account the band aid and everything..He let me off with a fairly stern warning.
His parting words, as he lowered himself out the window were to expect two of his friends in the coming months. A Mr. Paintings Present, and a relative rookie – Miss. Paintings Future. One theatrical wink later, and he was gone, just as swiftly as he arrived. I was left alone in the studio, staring at the open window, and I was awake.
The paintings that didn’t get flung from the window that night are here, available as always. Enjoy and watch this space, I have promises to keep.