“These are masterful, Greg,” Alejandro said, looking through some of Greg’s rejected drawings.
“Oh, uh,” said Greg, blushing a little. They were sitting by the river and Greg was trying to draw Ron and James’s house, because he wasn’t very good at drawing buildings. But he still wasn’t very good at drawing buildings. “Thanks. I keep getting parts wrong.”
“Nonsense,” said Alejandro, shaking his head. “These all appear to be completely accurate.”
Greg had gotten the doorframe wrong in the one Alejandro was looking at. “They don’t have the feeling of the house in them,” he explained. “I’m trying to draw something that will make Ron and James feel like they’re really looking at their own house.”
“And these diagrams don’t…accomplish that?”
Greg knew Alejandro didn’t mean anything by it, but calling them diagrams made him feel like they were soulless. “No,” he said quietly.
“Have I upset you?” Alejandro asked, turning to Greg. “I apologize, it wasn’t my intention to doubt your expertise…”
Greg shook his head. “No, it’s okay, you didn’t. It’s just that I’m not trying to draw a diagram. I’m trying to make it look the way it…feels. I know that sounds stupid.” Ron and James’s house felt so warm and welcoming and nice and Greg didn’t want to give them a picture that made it seem like it was just a building.
“No, I think I understand,” Alejandro said, shifting closer to Greg. They were near the boundary of the summer spell, so his warmth was comforting against the occasional cold breeze. “I am not an artist, I must admit. But this space does feel…special. It would be a shame to leave that out of a representation of it.”
“Yeah,” Greg said, sighing. The picture he was working on was no good. He went to put it aside when Alejandro put a hand on his. “What?”
“I think, however,” he said, looking at the drawing. “That part of the feeling of a piece of artwork comes from the way the artist feels. Perhaps in your anxiety over representing the house perfectly, you might be stifling yourself without meaning to?”
“Oh.” Greg did sometimes get a little hung up on details. “Maybe.”
“May I suggest that you try to draw the house as it makes you feel, and you can worry about whether the windows are the right size afterwards?”
That…made sense to Greg. In theory. “Okay,” he promised. “I’ll try. Thank you.”
“Of course, Greg. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished picture.”
“Me too,” Greg said. He should do a drawing of Alejandro sometime, too.
He felt like he might have an easier time drawing him the way he made Greg feel.