I wrote a 3000 word piece for university and I figured I’d share some of it on here. It’s called Finding Life in Colour, a creative non-fiction profile on a local artist. I categorised parts of her life through colours that I felt suited the tone of the events.
I hope you enjoy!
Out the window from Nola Tegel’s room, dawn illuminated the stone courtyard. Dusted with the touches of spring, pots of geranium covered the yard, the flowers glowing in the sunlight. This was the routine – wake up early, have breakfast, start painting. With early morning chills, Nola made her way through the stone passageways of the monastery and across the courtyard to the breakfast room, the sudden warmth seeping into her skin. A spread of fruit, bread to toast, fresh honey from the bees they kept and coffee was waiting for her. Her fellow artists were surely up and dining, chatting about what the new day will bring to their canvases.
As she walked there was a change in the clean air, an interruption – it was the awful heavy smell of the metal recycling yard close by; although it wasn’t too bad. She caught a glimpse it, churning out smoke and mist like a grey aura. Her eyes bypassed the growing fog to the olive groves covering the other side of the monastery, framed by the lush Italian hills of Terni. Beyond were layers and layers and layers of mountains. Cypress trees dotted the rolling landscape alongside winding roads. It still took her breath away, the vast space and layers around her: it was a landscape she was just itching to paint.
‘I liked the doorways, the field, and the mountains with their layers,’ she reflected with a sparkle in her eye. ‘We don’t get the layers here like they do over there. It was just wonderful.’
In the deep niches of the Indian city, Nola set herself up against a wall to avoid the traffic and commotion bubbling around her. The grey body of the Ganges flowed ahead of her. It took her a moment to notice a man and his wife attempting to push through behind her. She stepped out of the way and turned so they could see her work.
No eyes were focused on her drying paint. The Indian man was reaching for the niche behind the wall, a small space to worship their revered gods and goddesses. When the couple left without so much as a word, Nola peered over to see what they had done. A jolt of shock rocked her as she saw a swarm of fat black ants – he had fed ants. The creature scavenged a green leaf dripping with a sweet syrup, surrounded by tiny balls of sugar.
Well, that’s something you don’t see every day now, is it?
An attempt to bring good karma, to break the cycle of reincarnation. ‘It was absolutely fascinating. I love India,’ Nola said with a wide smile, her hazel eyes crinkling.