The Artist – A Short Story

I don’t usually post fiction on my blog. In fact, I don’t think I ever have before. But I’ve written 3 short stories for Idylls for the King, the Christian Literary blog I contribute to that is currently on summer hiatus. I decided I wanted to re-post this short story to share it here.

The Artist

The museum opened at 8:00 a.m. Claire was standing on the steps at 7:55 restlessly waiting for the doors to open. She had spent the entire day here yesterday. At the end of the day she had come across the most beautiful painting she had ever seen, but the museum was closing and she had to leave. She was back because she had to see that painting again and learn who the Artist was.

As the museum curator unlocked and opened the doors, Claire rushed past him straight to that wonderful painting. It was a beautiful landscape with snow-capped mountains in the background, a pristine lake fed by a small stream in the foreground; she could almost hear the babbling of the stream over its bed of rocks and it actually seemed to be flowing in the painting. Surrounding the lake was a field of the most vibrant and colorful flowers. In the distance beyond the lake was a forest of green trees that seemed to sway as if by a gentle breeze.

She longed to know who the Artist was, but there was no placard indicating the name of the painting or the Artist. She also wondered what medium it had been painted in.  At first glance it seemed to be an oil painting, but then it had the appearance of water colors, and even that didn’t seem quite right.

Just then, the curator walked by. “Pardon me,” ventured Claire, “but can you tell me who the Artist is for this painting?”

“The Artist is unknown,” replied the curator. “Research has been done and many have speculated, but there is just no way for us to know for sure who the Artist is.”

Hours passed as Claire gazed at the painting, taking in every exquisite inch of the landscape it portrayed. Other museum patrons passed by, but few stopped to look at this painting. She couldn’t understand why because it was more wonderful than all the other pieces of artwork in all the museum.

About noon, Frederick noticed Claire, and thinking she was quite beautiful he approached her. He stood beside her looking at the painting, but not really seeing it. “Hello,” he said to Claire.

“Hello.” Thinking he might know something about this painting, Claire asked Frederick, “Do you know who the Artist is who painted this masterpiece?”

“Oh, I know all about this painting because I have studied it quite extensively. There is no Artist,” Frederick quipped.

Claire was startled. “No Artist? What do you mean? How can that possibly be? It is so beautiful and the colors and textures are so complex.”

Claire turned her attention back to the painting. “What a fool,” she thought to herself. Frederick could see that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with this conquest, so he moved on to a more gullible mark.

Lunch time came and went, but Claire never took her eyes off the painting and seemed to not need food. Closing time was fast approaching and she wanted to instill the beauty of this painting in her mind and in her heart until she could return again tomorrow. Maybe then she would find someone who could tell her about the Artist and how He had created this magnificent design.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


7 Responses

  1. “The heavens declare the glory of God ; and the firmament shows His handiwork” Psalm 19:1 [also Romans 1:19-20]

    Just like in the story, so many people “see” the wonder of creation but hardly consider it, while a few glory in the Creator and desire to know Him.


    • Angela, Thank you for adding the perfect scripture to go with this story. Our Creator is truly awesome and I am so glad that I do know Him! Peace, Linda

  2. Oh I love this story! 🙂 And the comments! 🙂 Thank you for lifting me up with it all today! God bless you and all the ways He stretches you!

    • Deb, Thanks! I’ll probably be posting my other two IDFK short stories here, too, over the next few weeks. I have two trips coming up and am going to be very busy! 😉 Peace, Linda

  3. Linda, Fiction is a knack you have and you are very good at it. This story is so cool, I remember it from IFTK, but not the rest. It is cool because it actually reminds me of a similar thing I experienced. I am a fan of art too, and I went to an art museum regularly. I was mesmerized by a painting, beautiful snow capped mountains, leading down to a beautiful lake with elk wading out in the water. I was stunned because I knew this “exact” scene. Painting was called “trout lake” after the name of the lake for which it was painted. Six months prior, I had been south of Telluride Colorado at “trout lake”. But in the painting, there were no cabins, no buildings or any sign of man. it was painted I want to say in the early 1800’s by a man who did not know how to paint, but was so taken with the beauty of Colorado, that he travelled to Paris and trained at the famous art salons to learn to paint, this took several years. He then returned to trout lake and painted it perfectly, in amazing detail. anyway, I know there is no Godly reference in my response this time, but the story reminded me of that, and how I stood before that painting for so long. anyway, great write, God Bless

    • Jim, Thank you for the encouragement. Fiction is a stretch for me, but I’m learning that God is in the business of stretching us so that we have to rely on Him and not just do what comes easily to us. I like your story. I can see God in it because this painter saw the beauty of God and wanted to be able to paint it accurately. Painting was a stretch for him, but He did it to the glory of God. Peace, Linda

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