TITLE: Art Girl
GENRE: YA Contemporary
The bristles of the brush eased over the canvas and the light coat of black and white made it glow. I was retouching an old painting of a starry sky in an attempt to spark back my lost art mojo. The day I created this, the topic was ‘Freedom’ and I had thought of all the unlimited possibilities in the sky. Cheesy, but at the time, the idea possessed me.
Now, I laughed at the irony. I didn’t feel any sense of freedom anymore. The concept of stars reminded me that we only saw the past in the sky. Not the present or the future.
Mr. Akhiro placed his hand on my shoulder. “Your work is fantastic, Lillie.”
Tension slipped away from my shoulders. As I inhaled the familiar, bitter scent of oil paints in the art room, I ignored the compression in my chest. Lunch time was almost over so I had to leave.
The upcoming submission to an art gallery was due in one month, where an outside judge would pick the best artist. While the cash prize attracted every art student in Lincoln High, Mr. Akhiro narrowed down the list to ten, with my name being first on the list. He needed my best paintings because he knew it was my golden ticket to university—an opportunity at a dream that would otherwise be out of reach for me because of my family’s financial status.
If only I could paint.
"They will love your work," he assured.