“Quentin, you’re putting paint all over the place, you’re supposed to only paint within the lines.” He groans, obviously frustrated by my reminder. He looks at me, pout clear on his face and he huffs. The sound is a little childish and I can only shake my head, laughing gently. “You’re the one who wanted to buy this paint-by-numbers box. While I’m willing to overlook the fact that you’re more or less just splattering paint left and right because it is your artistic right, I’m just reminding you that if that is what you were wanting to do, I could have let you have one of my canvas and some paint.”
He sticks his tongue out and goes right on back to paint splattering. I don’t know what his masterpiece will look like when he’ll be done but it will most certainly not be anything like the top of the box. It’s a shame, that meadow looks beautiful but I guess we can’t win them all.
I leave him be for the time being, in the living room, a tarp on the floor to keep any drippings from staining the wood floors and his work on one of my easels. He doesn’t have much talent for art though I suppose that’s only a half-truth. What he does with textile is gorgeous and I’ve seen him wave a veil before and it had a very similar meadow to the one from today’s paint-by-numbers on it.
I guess it depends on the materials.
“You’re absolutely filthy.” I murmur the words as I sit behind him in the tub. I can’t even begin to understand how he managed to get paint all the way into his hair and on places that were covered by his clothes. To add to it, we had to give two of the cats baths because somehow they, too, had been under the paint drips. It wasn’t all that minimal either. With Astra it’s as if she’d rolled in the paint, at least with Izar it was just a few different spots and while we could have just waited until it was dry to brush it out of his fur, we preferred a bath so he wouldn’t try to lick the paint off.
He shrugs and closes his eyes. I assume he’s done scrubbing his chest, arms and legs of whatever was on him. His back, how did he get paint on his back? His back and his hair I’m in charge of. We could have gone for the shower but the tub seemed the better option at that point though I think we’ll slip into the shower once the worst of it is washed off in this water. I made sure to keep the water level low so it really is mostly so we can scrub him clean.
I work on his hair with slow, practised motion and he just about becomes putty in my hands. I love having my hair played with, it’s one of the only things that calms me but I’ve never noticed how much he seems to like it too. I don’t often get to play with his hair as he tends to keep it out of his face and tied back for the most part.
“I really don’t know how you managed but I think you’re just about clean so we can move into the shower.”
“Not yet.” He mumbled the words softly and I chuckle, continuing to massage his scalp with my fingers. He groans and sighs, relaxing utterly against me. I suppose I can give him that much at this point. I feel as if I haven’t thanked him properly yet for the gorgeous curtains he made for our bed. They add a little je ne sais quoi to the décor and I could spend my days in there. I guess this is a good enough start, this putty-turning massage.
Eventually though, I do manage to reach past him to the front of the tub where I pull the plug and the coloured water swirls on its way down the drain. The tub will need a wash once all is said and done but I know I don’t need to rush to get that done.
I give him a little nudge so he’ll get up because I can’t get out of the tub before him and he moves to his feet, stretching a bit as he does. I appreciate the sight of him for a few moments before I stand as well. I step from the tub first and I move to the shower to get it going. A nice, almost steaming sort of shower. Once it’s going, I turn back to him and offer him my hand. He takes it, eases from the tub and steps to the shower. Before stepping into the shower itself, he presses up close and steals a kiss from my lips. I blink, surprised but press back to his lips until he steps back again.
He smiles, a warm, appreciative smile and he steps into the shower with a soft sigh of content. I follow him, closing the door and we wash up properly. Shampoo, conditioner, body scrub. The whole deal and he’s pretty much just groaning away in contentment all the while. The whole thing amuses me in ways I can’t explain but I take that as a good sign, in the end.
“I still have no idea what this is supposed to be.” He looks at the masterpiece he’s painted over the original paint-by-numbers and he shrugs.
“I dunno, I just felt like getting paint all over the place.”
“And you did.”
He blushes, sheepishly and shrugs. He’s adorable, really. I know that much and I give him that much. Still, I’m glad I put the tarp on the floor before he started painting because there are stains everywhere and that too will require a wash though that’ll be done in the morning. “So where are we putting this masterpiece of yours?”
He looks at it again, as if trying to figure out where we could put it. I wouldn’t dream of throwing it away, he’s painted it so we keep it, even though it does look like a five years old just flung splatters of paint everywhere to get to the end result. “Guest room?”
Guest room might not hurt, the walls are somewhat bare though one of my fixed up old bird cages is in there, it would be different and it can’t hurt. “Guest room it will be. For now we can set it in my studio to make sure it dries completely and once it does, we’ll set it up. You do the honours, you can set it up on the easel that’s set up.”
I have an empty easel set up permanently. I usually move my works there when I’m done with them so they can dry. There’s a small towel under it just in case and it has served its purposes a few times over already.
He looks at the canvas a moment before he picks it up carefully by the sides, to not touch the paint and he disappears towards my studio. I fold the tarp over again. We’d folded it up just once to at least keep the cats from making a mess. I gather it in my arms and I head outside through the back. I’ll drop it off to the side of the house with a weight on it so the wind doesn’t take off with it. Then I’ll see about washing it up in the morning.
When I come back inside, he’s picked up the rest of what had been left and he brought it back into my studio just the same. Anything artsy we have in the house comes from my studio and most everything textile that hasn’t been bought will now come from his weaving room. We both have our passions and I hope they will lead us ever far.