A Painting is not a Fish
I’m worried. Really worried, I mean. It looks like we’re going to run out of paper, panels, paint and stuff already! If there isn’t a good supplier in Tylenay, we’re going to have big problems! Of course, I could cut down on my painting and sketching, but the world is so beautiful, and interesting and paintable!
In Gralen, there was the brewery. Master Jeran made an awesome painting of the coppers they make the beer in. I’m not quite sure about how beer is made, only that it’s not nice to drink. Fortunately the brewery people, they’re relatives of Lady Rava from the School, they didn’t mind me drinking apple cider instead. They also made that themselves!
I was allowed to take up a perch in the big, big, big kitchen and sketch making the dinner from start to end, that made for a pretty exciting sequence of a dozen sketches in my travel book for Lesla.
Then we left on our way to Tal Serth, where there’s the glass works.
But before we arrived, we found a farmer in the field, and when we sketched him, he said we were welcome to stay the night at his farm. That was a good thing, because we had started late, traveled slowly and it was already getting late in the afternoon.
On our way to the farm, Master Jeran started a largish panel painting of the farm, which we could see on a hillock from afar. The light started golden. Then I saw a boy picking strawberries, and eating more than he put in the basket, and I sketched him. When he saw that, he invited me to help picking strawberries with him, and I was allowed to eat, too, freshly picked strawberries warm from the afternoon sun are delish!
When his basket was full, he joined us on the path to the farm. Along the way, we saw an old horse with the largest socks I had ever seen, being lazy in a meadow. That, of course, got sketched, too. The boy, he was the son of the farmer who had invited us, told us that it was an old horse from the brewery, sent out to pasture. It still liked to work, a bit, and it was also interested in our mule. Our mule wasn’t interested at all, though!
On a bench in front of the farm sat one of the pregnantest women I’ve ever seen. She was shelling peas. When she saw us, she got up and stretched — sketch! Mostly from memory, but still a good likeness! She invited us in, told us where we could sleep, while her son brought our mule back to the horse meadow. She said she was called Mialle.
She also said, if y’all are going to Tal Serth, please send the Priestess of Naigha, I think I might be nearly there.
Hm, in my eyes, she was closer than that! Then I remembered that I actually am a grandmaster in the Guild of Anshen, and that Tal Serth should be pretty close. So I asked her, shan’t I call her right now? And she was all like, oh Mother, yes, please. At that moment her waters broke.
So I looked around and easily found someone with a very Naighish character nearby, and since she was gifted, too, I asked her to come immediately.
When she arrived, it had gone full dark and Mialle was in labour.
I had heated up several buckets of water with my spirit, and then proceeded to make light and give the midwife what help I could give.
It was an easy birth, though I was wondering… There was a considerable gap between the son and the newest baby, a girl. Had the children in between died, or was she a new bride for an older man? I thought it might not be nice to ask, so I asked whether I could draw her giving suck instead, and I got permission, and set to it.
That one, I then painted with my stock of prepared tempera paints, and varnished it in the morning, as a present for our hosts. Then the farmer also wanted to have the painting of his farm that I had finished in the rest of the night, but he didn’t want to pay for it what I asked because it was smaller than the painting of his wife and son, and that was a gift.
The value of a painting is in what I ask for it, not in the size! Plus, the painting of the farm used expensive blue paint, since its walls were painted with blue smalt, but I only had lapis.
This time, my master agreed with me, and I finally sold it for the asking price.
Art is not the same thing as a basket of fish you haggle over at the market!