Painting without a Brush

A picture, contrary to what they say, is not worth one thousand words – it is not even worth one.

It is the result of speechlessness that draws out colors on the canvas, as my mind cannot find words and phrases to match the colors that stain the walls.

At some point in time, I tossed out all the brushes, their boar hairs stained in thick layers of paint that I could not wash out. Instead, I opted for my fingers.


These fingers have touched more than the brush can imagine; skin, blood, hair, the human pulse beating beneath thin veins. Yes, I’ve felt a lot, but nothing felt better than the cold fluid as I smear it on the canvas.

I touch the threaded cloth and let it speak for me, but it is silent. As I stare on at the full canvas, I wonder why it doesn’t speak to me.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and yet I still have none.

I smear my palms over the surface, etch in lines with my finger nails, rub the colors between my fingers until they all turn to brownish black.

The face I make is the best and my worst; one with no mouth to speak and no eyes to see. No ears to hear and no lies to tell.

I have never much liked silence and never will. Should I set alight this canvas and start anew, a picture of flowers and rolling green fields?

No, I like my demons, the ones that lurk in my mind. My familiar friends deserve to be brought to life, so I can look at their faces when they haunt me at night.

If I don’t use my fingers, I imagine that the paint will not feel the pulse beneath my fingertips, stemming out from my heart that aches for something beautiful.

Yet again, I make something ugly, like the girl who looks back at me.

I’m never alone, not with you, my quiet creations that line the walls.

If I paint with something else, then maybe I can give it eyes and a charming smile….

But I don’t want my works to lie, so I let them be the monsters that they are; self portraits of the face that hides behind my tortured eyes.

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