Butter paintings are a complex medium, so maybe it was better today that the only available material was a charcoal stick and a kneaded eraser.
The plastic unwrapping of said eraser exposed Butter Pretzel's hand to the cold breeze of a late-blooming early Spring. The class was outdoors, under an old, off-white tent held up by four colder, metal pegs in the dirt. Anymore expensive and it would be in a windless room rented out somewhere, but between a short-term economic struggle and Butter Pretzel's long-standing art school student debt, even this hour of professional study was quite a cut into rainy day funds. And especially when one paid for two. At least twice before the deadline for signing up, Truffle Cookie offered her own sum, but seeing as Truffle already paid for so much in survival and luxury for Butter Pretzel, just once, she could manage for the two of them. Besides, when one suggests the place for a date, they usually are the one paying. No need to break tradition.
A lone instructor circled around the temporary setup of canvas and recycled-newspaper scrap paper, a 4:3 sheet roll, with the longer side measuring two feet tall. And the two were right next to each other, perhaps canvases a bit moved to be closer. Or did only Butter Pretzel do that?
"Is everybody situated?", the instructor called, with Truffle merely nodding in politeness, not noticing that her feet had jumped onto the horizontal of the stool she sat at. Butter Pretzel gave the verbal "Here,", as if she was still in first-year art school classes. And then, the droning of basic instruction began, for those two folk older than Truffle in another corner of the tent, and it all went through Butter Pretzel like the wind went through air. Just when it seemed to feel like watching paint dry, another cookie entered to the large stump in the middle of the tent, cut down from a senior tree. The joys of a natural setting is not only the mood, but the usage of natural stages, and the lady on said stage almost felt like a part of nature. Young, a volunteer, with light cloth hanging off the body in the form of a tank-top and shorts. A red braid framed the grace of the cookie, hanging from the shoulder to just above the chest.
Truffle peered over to Butter Pretzel, that usual slight smile on her face. Beautiful, but almost uncanny with the beauty situated on a grey dough akin to statue. Truffle often did look like a statue to Butter Pretzel anyways, and right now, the sculpture dynamic for the two today were Pygmalion and Galatea. If only Truffle was on that stump, framed, loved. That beautiful, eerie smile began to speak.
"Such a beautiful lady right there -- You mentioned once, through schooling the models were more...homely, yes?"
"Could say so,"
"Do they pay her well? I'll leave a tip for the both of us, dear,"
Butter Pretzel paused. Once again, Truffle Cookie offering her own money for things she could imperfectly afford on her own. But no use fighting her kindness this time, it would only diverge from the killer line that came up just now.
"But for you to stand up there for even a minute, it would be priceless. You're too beautiful to afford," Butter Pretzel's flirt went, with a slight awkwardness to it, but the point still going across. Truffle almost slid back in the stool, a critical hit to the lovebone, waving her hand at Butter Pretzel in such a teasing manner. Her mumbles were ones trying to deflect that compliment back to Butter Pretzel, but before one could countershoot Cupid's arrow, the moment was severed by a shout by the instructor to begin for five minutes.
And now was Butter Pretzel's chance to shine, the model on a chair, almost copying what pose Truffle had at that moment. Maybe that was just rose-colored artist's vision, however, as charcoal met paper, simple gestures colliding first, before moving on from the top of her to the bottom a form built, and then, the wooden seat. Aging, but there was not enough time that day to depict said splinters in the back of it. And just as quickly as it had began, the shout for the end from the same man was heard, loud enough to maybe be heard on the other side of the hill. He did a quick circle around, with Butter Pretzel's eyes trailing him to Truffle's own work.
How astonishing it must've been to find out your lover's admiration for the arts had transferred to her own drawings. A bit stiff, but the proportions were on point. The hours spent watching others work with delicate, shadowed eyes had paid off for Truffle, even remembering the cast shadow of the chair in that time.
"I can see you staring, love," Truffle spoke, and it snapped Butter Pretzel out of that investigation internal of just how Truffle did it on that first try. Or maybe Truffle had already known, just keeping her sketches to herself, buried in the manor. And the way Truffle said that -- anyone else could take it as perhaps rude, but her mystique on speech was just one of the many reasons to love her like Pygmalion did Galatea.
That effect in her words, the loving eeriness, floated around Butter Pretzel as she diverted her eyes back to her own work, like a pink emotional fog. And now that she thought of it, their gesture drawings were more similar than she would've thought. The same focus on right proportion, the slight stiffness that was usually a problem solved by Butter Pretzel's medium of choice, the slickness of butter that forced her own art to wave and weave, textures left on canvas like waves in a river. But here, it stood out more than she could ignore, the stiffness. Noted down, the pink fog craving to sour at her analytical eye. Anyone could do this with only a bit of observational work. Maybe the only thing that even made her special was -- an interuption. Five minutes over with. Another pose to do for another five, but with the quick breather, Butter Pretzel turned the thin newsprint over, her own hopes soured by first attempt.
That one went the same way, with the small-talk between the two, the notes down on Truffle's own style. It was naturally like Butter Pretzel's own. And once that, too, was over with, ten minutes were given for the next.
And then Truffle's own began to diverge within that longer time span. She wanted to branch out a bit from what she usually saw and admired, because it just felt too...copyish. Everybody did that. It couldn't hurt to just angle the side of the model's leg like a triangle in a textbook. To sharpen the chin, draw a big, light grey square behind that model with the side of the charcoal stick. Edges of the body softened and sharpened.
"Looks even better this time," Butter Pretzel complimented, and it brought Truffle out of an artistic hypnosis the alteration of the form brought to her. Almost cathartic, but with a simple nod and chuckle, she returned the joys Butter Pretzel gave her. The warm feeling she gave to her was given back this time. But soon, that would be over too. Another yell from their instructor, and the class was over with for those who paid for just twenty minutes, which was what Butter Pretzel had done to save down on those costs. Art was expensive, she knew that, she experienced that for four years, and still felt the pains of it. Expensive, sometimes painful, but when it went right for Butter Pretzel and she could see her paintings in a great orange-golden frame on white walls, the pain was more than worth it.
The two tore those three pages used out, and while Truffle rolled her's up, undamaged, Butter Pretzel had folded them into four. The folds would stay for an eternity, but maybe that would add some flavor when they were examined by someone else.
On the dirt trail out of the tent, it remained silent for about a minute. A silent, long, but longing minute. Silence with the two who adored each other to bits, found through other artistic escapades, and held together by the love for each other most, and the field second. The silence shrunk, however.
"Never knew you had so much talent. Observation alone, someone from the average population would only be able to recreate a stick figure without previous teaching. But you've been at this for...how many years?"
"Since I left my previous field. It already had a connection to the visual arts, so it wasn't too hard to start back over, but already be known." The previous field...acting. What had sent her to the top and then the bottom, and then she rose once more by using what was left as patronage money. Now, she was known again, but on the smaller scale she could handle without breaking down once more, retreating to a manor impulse bought, which had led her down a path that Truffle would never trade for anything else.
"Say, we could come back next week."
"Should I pay for it this time?"
A sigh from Butter Pretzel, "If you want to stay more than twenty minutes," and then another giggle from Truffle. All the money in the world was to be spoiled on Butter Pretzel.
The riches made and stretched could never compare to the love she had, so any sacrifice could suffice.