The Art Lesson

David K. Slay, 1954

The Author’s Inspiration, 1954

by David K. Slay

At some point the paintings would seem finished, and I could find nothing more to add. Standing beside me, my teacher would quietly regard my work, and then ask, “May I?” Taking my brush in his hand, he would add a few strokes to the picture, darken a shadow perhaps, or add a highlight here or there. I always was surprised, and a little disappointed, when he showed me how much had been missing. But I was young, and more than happy to have the painting completed, and I quietly knew only my name would be in the corner.

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After retiring from full-time work, David K. Slay participated for two years in the UCLA Writers’ Program. His short fiction can be found in a number of diverse literary journals, including Gold Man Review, Calliope, ImageOutWrite, wards, The Magnolia Review, Toho Journal Online, and others. Nonfiction craft articles are in CRAFT and Submittable’s “Content for Creatives.” He currently is a submissions reader for CRAFT and has served as a guest editor for Vestal Review.

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