Unfinished Works

The theme for the Freedom of Expression Challenge this week is MYSTERY!



Mother Nature gently ran the long, delicate stamens of the Pink Fairy Duster through the water well and grabbed a few grains of turmeric with its moist ends.

She giggled at its human name. Pink Fairy Duster. If truth be told, she had given the plain little shrub a flower because she needed a good brush. And it had turned out perfectly. So soft and absorbent. Each stamen held just the right amount of water and pigment to allow for a perfect, even wash. Of course, the pink just happened to be local Bee’s favorite color. And she needed him to like it. She seemed to always be needing a new brush.


Humans, goddess bless them, had found some magic in her little tool. And she thought there was a good bit of symmetry to that. She liked to think that creating the views of the world held its own sense of magic. There was no real magic in it, really. It was what she did. But she generally received rave reviews. And that felt like magic. And then to have one of her tiniest creations – her little utilitarian flower – seen in such a special light, well, any mother knows the feeling of pride. She wondered briefly why humans seemed so reticent to see magic in their own children. Such uninspired names! Nothing to match the wonderment one expects from Pink Fairy Duster.

But never mind that. It was getting late. Or early. She needed to get this painting finished. How many days in a row had she let her foggy thoughts delay her work? She was determined to have Sun spotlight a finished painting today. Crisp details. Full views. This was her goal.


Thin layers of turmeric were perfect for the shades of gold that Sun brought out in the little green shrubs that dotted the prairie. It had the perfect mustard tinge. Boiled marigolds and lemon peels rendered a purer yellow, sure, but it was way too bright for shrubs; made them look artificial. She had found that out the hard way. No, that kind of yellow worked better for sunrises. That diffused glow that hovered right between the madder rose of the horizon and the dark cabbage mauves of a barely lit sky. Of course, the shrubs would look funny for a while, like misplaced yellow clouds, but once you came back and started layering the greens from mint or spinach, they developed like a magic Polaroid. And slowly, with layer upon layer of color, lights and then darks and then shadows, she could capture the details of the world.

Her paintings were the world made clear. Humans were a visual lot, but their eyes had limitations. The world was so multi-layered, it could seem encrusted to the human eye. Like a film had been deposited over the world, the layers and layers of details often became blurred. How many times had an entire forest been obscured by a million trees? So, she painted. And like a camera that captured a person’s soul, her paintings captured the essence of the world. And they held all the details static, where the quiverings of life could no longer render the world in vague views.

She smiled. To her watercolor mirrored the world, literally and figuratively. Layers and layers of washes. Thin and translucent at first. A vague, blurred view. Then veils of color, slowly applied, that recreated the world from general to specific. Those finer details sliding into focus where the layers were thickest, the colors most intense. The mysteries of the world explained by a few brushstrokes.


Sun was close. She was still having to strain her eyes a bit to differentiate her pigments, but horizon was already beaming in anticipation. Horizon was never good with secrets; always telegraphing any new event like semaphore. Waving around dark clouds when Storm decided to blow through. Brandishing the pied colors of the raindrops when Summer Rain tired and trickled away. And here now, already tickled pink to see Sun, and him at least half an hour away. But Sun was nothing if not punctual. So, his arrival was never too much of a mystery anyway. He wasn’t fooling anyone, showing up a few minutes earlier every morning.

Suddenly a wave of panic washed over her. Sun was here. Shedding light on her painting before it was done! She shook her head, chastising herself. Another unfinished work. Another foggy day.




Thank you, Richa (iScriblr), for hosting this challenge! To find out how you can participate, click here.

© 2019 Lindsay Sears @ soanuthatch.com All Rights Reserved

27 thoughts on “Unfinished Works

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  1. I commented with my like, but I see that it is nowhere to be found, and this post is more than worthy of second efforts…This so demonstrates your creativity in the picture you have painted here with words. The use of the Fairy Duster as a paintbrush; the imagery of building a scene with colors from nature; “…they developed like a magic Polaroid”: not to mention the photographs. Beautiful. Goddess bless you.

    1. Thanks Ox! They’re both! The snow scenes were in the morning. Do all foggy snow scenes happen in the morning? It seems so. The mountain and woods were in the afternoon. All magical times, though. I feel like there really is a hushed, mysterious feel when the fog hangs heavy like that.

  2. A masterpiece of a post, Lindsay. I absolutely loved getting lost in the idea of nature creating her own work of art in a race with the sun ‘showing up a few minutes earlier every morning’, depicting perfectly the gradual onset of spring. Wonderful. The detail you describe of her choice of pigments, the organic materials she uses and her perfectionist eye for detail is mesmerising. I loved ‘Her paintings were the world made clear’. It’s so true, nature’s delicate work is the world at it’s best and it’s highest clarity. And, as ever, your photos are stunning. I did wonder what time of day they were taken, and the misty ones seemed to me to be early morning shots, and I see from a previous comment that I’m not the only one that wondered that. Funnily enough, I drove into a pretty amazing mist this morning on the school run! But it’s nothing like your beguiling images. This is an amazing tale, beautifully conceived and imagined and written in your uniquely imaginative and captivating style. It’s made my day. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Alli. I will admit that your comments on story time with the two trees inspired me to use my imagination a bit more here as well. It felt right, too, considering the mysterious and almost playful nature of fog. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Your words are little boosts of energy that make me want to write more. I appreciate you!! Thank you, again!

      1. Then we make a great team! I’m very flattered, and thrilled that I can inspire as good a writer as you! 🙂

  3. I’m blown away by the beauty of those photographs Lindsay – you certainly have a knack of capturing the magic of a scene and matching it to your words, you have a wonderful eye for the artistic. I wonder – do the words or the pictures come first?
    Simply stunning!

    1. Thanks so much Stuart. Coming from a photographer who captures views with true presence, that means a lot. And cool question. It’s a definite picture first type of approach. I know you can appreciate how being out among nature inspires a whole host of musings and connections. I’m lucky to be able to spend so much time around it all and to have time to think when I’m there. Thank you always for reading and giving such kind feedback.

      1. You’re welcome. Thanks for the response, I have often wondered which way around you do it.
        I do know what you mean, nature can be very inspirational, it’s fantastic that you have time to stop and ponder it. It’s something that we should all try and do more often 🙂

    2. P.S. Our internet is spotty at best out here in the woods. Add to that our love of being outside. So I often don’t get to the blog or comments when I want. Or worse, my comments don’t go through. I notice my reply to you the other day met a doomed fate. And now your comment’s fallen off the list. Anyway the gist was – you never need apologize for choosing life over the blog. I actually would say if you find time to get out and love life, then blogging be damned! I know the Templetons are there! And quite frankly, I hope you’re both trapesing around Britain rather than being stuck in front of a screen. In fact, I insist on it – it makes for fun reading! lol. Anywho, you have a post with pictures of planes that I’m very curious to read. I’m just waiting until a have some time to sit and enjoy. I’ll be back!! Thank you, Stuart!

      1. No need to apologise for the in and out internet – I can imagine that can be quite frustrating at times. It’s always nice to hear from you.
        Iol – Indeed – getting out and having adventures always comes first. I am enjoying writing about it as well however. 😀

        Have a great weekend!

  4. Mist? Fog? That is the very best time to walk in the forest. There is something comforting and cosy about a fog, and the mists are like a comfy doona that lifts off the world to reveal the day. Again, a wonderful romantic poetic post. Love that second to last photo!

    1. Oh, I so agree! I find it mysterious and quietly peaceful at the same time. I had mentioned to someone that it gives me a similar feeling to snow – in that hushed feeling of beauty. 😊 thank you for reading!

      1. Hushed feeling of beauty – yes indeed. A perfect description. We get fogs so very rarely here, if I am ever up early and see it is foggy outside, I get dressed quickly so I can go for a long walk. The dog gets dragged along too – and she of course, is always up for a walk.

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