I had been quietly observing the man as he dragged his paintbrush in fluid movements, moving the purple paint in a circular motion on one corner of the page. It was only one color he used, but there was a method to the madness, and a magic in the method.
Nearly an hour and a dynamic discussion later, my friend and I found ourselves watching amused, as our new friend proudly displayed each of his paintings in a show-and-tell manner.
“Now I’m going to ask you something – and you are free to say ‘no’,” the man named Steve began excitedly, “If you take one of these home with you, you will be – ” Steve stopped to count on his fingers “ – my 2,466th patron. I’ve written down all the times someone’s taken one of these.”
In all the years that he had been freely giving away each masterpiece, only a handful of young people regarded the shaggy-haired artist’s offer of free paintings with skepticism. I laugh aloud when he illustrates the terrified reaction of one young woman whom he’d approached some time ago.
“Really? That one?” Steve asked when I indicated the piece I wanted. It was an eerie, dark green and black-themed piece resembling something of a dark forest.
“Yes,” I replied without hesitation.
I had left the house only intent on sustaining myself with coffee, but would return as a patron of a Steve Hardy original.