* Not the picture referenced in the story-bit below. Just a beautiful piece that has an abundance of blue. 🙂 After mentioning Bierstadt I wanted to find one of his works that was fitting for what I’d written. This one came closest, I think.
“I didn’t know you painted,” he said, surprised. Jason peaked around Tad’s shoulder, eyeing the canvas in awe. Tad said he was only about half-finished with this piece, but it already looked amazing. Reminded Jason of Bierstadt; a beautiful landscape scene, with a rushing river, plenty of trees, magnificent storm clouds… Tad was still working on the greenery of the scene, but the river and sky looked pretty much finished, and gorgeous. So many shades of blue… Lapis, azure, cerulean, sky, royal… It was made all the better by the late rays of the sun coming through the classroom window.
“You never really asked, either…”
“Thanks.” Tad paused, turning slightly on his stool to glance at Jason. He looked embarrassed, and exasperated. “Uh, can I help you?”
Help indeed. What Jason wouldn’t give to have more than Tad’s help… Dammit. He couldn’t help his thoughts, these days.
“Not really,” Jason said, blinking innocently. Tad rolled his eyes and turned away again. “I am the art club head, though. And I am feeling quite compelled to persuade you into joining us.”
“This is really more of a hobby than anything else…”
“Hobby, he says!” Jason cried, and Tad almost dropped his paint pallet and brush in shock. Jason knew very well that Tad was going into the sciences, and upon discovering his skills with a brush, he had to admit to himself that he thought the young man was wasting his talent. Tad was already admirable enough. He was Jason’s tutor, after all. And a damn good one. Finding out his classmate also had an interest in one of his main interests as well was just icing.
“We are kindred spirits, you and I!” he said dramatically, waving his arm with a flourish. He had to try his damnedest to keep a straight face at the look on Tad’s. “How can you let such talent sit as a mere hobby when you excel? It’s horrible!”
“Not as horrible as this whole situation.”
“My friend, you are too sullen.” Jason placed a hand on Tad’s shoulder, and the young man looked like nothing more would please him than for that hand to shrivel up and fall off. Finally a snicker escaped Jason.
“If you’re just making fun of me, Jason, you can take your annoying personality and shove–”
“Woah-woah, that’s harsh, my dear Thaddeus.” Interrupting Tad before his ‘that’s-not-my-damn-name-and-you-know-it’ speech could start, Jason continued, “How could I make fun of you for something so magnificent? I know what you’re doing with your schooling, but all the same I have to urge you to at least consider this as more than a hobby. I mean, look at it! The way you’ve captured the picture, and with no reference! It’s like a developing photograph! And the colors, they…”
Here Jason had to stop. As he’d blathered on, he’d turned to Tad, and Tad had done the same to him, his eyes narrowed in a very obvious ‘kill-me-now-please-or-I’ll-kill-you’ look that Jason had grown accustomed to. After being an intentional goofball during study sessions it was simply par for the course.
But meeting Tad’s eyes this time, Jason could see the very same blues there as in the lovely landscape painting. Even in the orange, fading light of the day, Jason picked out hints of azure, swirls of sky, and a sunburst ring of cerulean around the pupils. He’d always been partial to blue… but now he felt an obsession coming on.
“Jason. You’re freaking me out. Personal space, dude.”
“Er, sorry,” he said, a bit flustered. In his passionate speech he’d moved closer and closer to Tad on his stool. Now he staggered back a bit, feeling peaky. He ran a hand through his hair, unintentionally spiking it up. Now he just looked ridiculous. “But really. It’s amazing.”
“Uh, thanks.” Tad cleared his throat, the tips of his ears turning red in embarrassment. But that could have been Jason mixing up the colors of the sunset with his skin tone. Definitely.
After a moment Tad began painting again, and Jason stood by in awkward silence. Now what?
About to mutter an excuse to leave, definitely no longer in his comfort zone, Jason was interrupted by Tad.
“Um. I’m not used to people watching me paint, but… If you wanna stay and watch, or something, I don’t mind…” There was definitely no mistaking the red of Tad’s ears.
Smiling, and sparing them both further embarrassment by saying absolutely nothing, Jason wandered away to grab a stool and plopped it down on Tad’s left. Not too close, of course, but close enough so that he could watch what kind of magic Tad would work when making greens to compliment the blues…