Serious Artist
John A. Ward

"It was fixed," said Cooder.

"Now, Cooder," I said, "it's hard to judge an art show."

"But a portrait of Jesus, how could anyone beat a portrait of Jesus?"

"Well, maybe you shouldn't have used me as a model.  I probably don't match people's mental image of Jesus, what with the piercings and all."

"But it was on velvet.  I could see if it was Elvis.  That's been overdone."

"To be honest, Jesus has been overdone too."

"But not on velvet.  How often do you see Jesus on velvet?"

"A lot, if you go to the flea market."

"But those art judges don't go to the flea market.  I was trying to open their eyes to a new experience.  They picked a cartoon tart over Jesus."

"I overheard them saying it was a girl in a mirror, reminiscent of Picasso.  It was only honorable mention.  Why are you so upset?  You can tell everybody you missed it by an Angstrom unit."

"What's an Angstrom unit?"

"It's a very small measurement in electron microscopy."

"How do you know that?"

"I read about it."

"Is there anything smaller?"

"I don't know, maybe a nano-, no, a pico-, no, a femto-micron."

"That's how much I missed by, a femto-micron."

"Are you ever going to enter the State Fair again?"

"I don't know, maybe.  Yeah, sure, I'll enter next year, but I'm not doing another velvet Jesus.  They're not nearly as popular as I thought."

"What are you planning for next year?"

"I think I'll do a nude."

"A nude woman?"

"Of course a nude woman, why would I want to do a nude man?  Do you think nude women are overdone?"

"No way, you can never get too many nude women."

"Good, I'll use pastel this time.  Chesty says I'm good with pastels."

"Are you going to ask Chesty to be your model?"

"I was leaning that way.  Do you think she'll go for it?"

"Maybe, if you can convince her you're a serious artist."

"I'll tell her she can wear a string bikini so she doesn't get it in her head that I just want to see her without clothes."

"That should do it.  Better still, paint an entry for the Nevada Historical Society Showgirl Art Competition in Reno.  Then she can wear sequins and a big hat, too."

"But then she won't be nude."

"You said you didn't want to see her without clothes."

"No, I said I didn't want her to think that."

First published: August, 2007
comments to the writer: knob'