October 24, 2020

The Painter

posted on: Thursday November 5, 2015

by Marisa Gonzalez ’18

Portfolio Staff

Walls surround him, white walls, walls that never moved and stayed the same. These walls are his home, his canvas, his portal. I. M. Emerson sits with eyes stern and concentrated. He has been visited today by one of his regulars: a little girl who wished for a pink pony. Margaret Loman was her name and she always had a vibrant smile and glowed a shiny gold. Her halo, he called it. This exuberant glow and vibrant vibe is what motivated Emerson to make this painting his absolute best. He smiles, a crooked but content smile. With a frail, shaky but careful hand, Emerson picks up a paint brush with worn bristles. Like his paintings, these bristles held stories, pasts, and magic within them. A steady stroke of pink paint moves across the canvas.

I.M. Emerson was born Ian Michael Emerson. His mother was a housewife and his father was a cook. He was not very sociable or wealthy, but he had talent. This talent is what defined him, made him worthy. He painted, painted dreams. Dreams that were so crazy and seemingly impossible but he made them real, real enough to touch. He was visited by millions, some who were poor and desperate; some who had it all but wanted more; and some who had wild imaginations like Margaret. However, Emerson had a secret, one that only he knew and others soon found out. These dreams could not be maintained. They were, of course, just  dreams, though many failed to comprehend this. When some tried to obtain the dream, the picture would become a collage of colors. “Trickery!” some would shout, but Emerson would just shake his head and simply say, “Life.”

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