Sketches from the Heart of a Texas Artist: Part I
I kept my nickel-plated Smith and Wesson tucked away in my Louis Vuitton messenger bag… next to my sketchbook. It was a hot day in the wild wild west Dallas Design District. I stood outside a gallery door, staring down an empty street. A pair of vultures rode lazy thermals against a blue-domed sky. A wave of fear sent chills across my skin as I noticed a massive, dark shadow stirring in the distance. I could feel my emotions rising through my chest. I was not quite sure what was about to come my way, so I braced myself. I felt afraid as I stood alone, certain that the shadow had come for me. “Deep breath” I told myself. I slid my hand inside my bag and wrapped my fingers around the handle of my revolver. I stood alone and felt that sadness that accompanies loneliness. The massive dark shadow crept closer. The closer the shadow crept, the more fear and sadness washed over me. My mind began to twist and turn and tell me things that I didn’t want to hear. My chest trembled as I gasped for air. Standing alone, under the hot Texas sun, I knew I had to act quickly. If I let the darkness engulf me, if I surrendered to the fear and loneliness that the shadow carried, then the strong, Texas woman who lives deep in my soul would not survive. I slid my finger onto the trigger, took a deep breath, swallowed my fear, extended my arm outward, revolver in hand, and felt the recoil as the crack of my weapon shattered the quiet. Just once. The shadow crumbled to the ground like a demolished skyscraper, and from the shadow’s dust arose a goldenhaze of calm beauty that sparkled beneath the scorching sky. With a gust of warm wind, the dust disappeared and the anxiety fell from my shoulders. I blew the smoke from my Smith and Wesson and placed it back in my bag. I pulled out my sketch book, leaned back against the gallery door, gazed down the empty street, and began to illustrate the hard, rugged beauty that suddenly surrounded me.