A Painted Portrayal

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

by Addy Pittenger '20

Elaine’s paint palette consisted of five colors: red, blue, yellow, black, and white. These five colors can make any color imaginable. Of course her palette wasn’t big enough to have the whole scheme of colors at her reach, but still, the possibilities were endless.


It was four in the afternoon, the time when the sun shined at just the right moment where its rays entered through her window and makes the whole carpet of her dorm warm. She set up her canvas so that she could see out of the window and see the luscious trees and beautiful blue sky in the distance. Most people in the dorms just see the weathered buildings and the drooping telephone wires, but Elaine saw a story. She saw the people of the school walk in and out of the weathered, yet beautiful buildings, and how at four o’clock, the sun creates a long shadow for each passing person.


She mixed her white and blue to create an enchanting sky blue as well as the blue and yellow to create a rich green for the trees. As she started to paint the scene that was right in front of her, an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia hit her.


She’s in third grade, and she’s climbing the tallest tree in her yard with her younger brother. From that view, she can see the whole neighborhood as well as the look of concerned parents walking on the sidewalk with their children. She feels unstoppable here.

She’s in seventh grade, and she’s playing soccer at the local park with her friends. It had just rained and the grass was a bit wet, so she slips and falls, but there were no tears of pain, only tears of joy and laughter.


She’s a sophomore, and she’s driving around, picking up her friends as they all head over to the movie theater just north of her small town. They saw a movie about a girl who’s struggling to find herself while making the transition between home and college—at least that’s what they got out of it. They laughed, they cried, and then they went home.

Suddenly, Elaine returns to her real world and realizes that she had not painted the scenery in front of her. There were no college buildings, no dorm apartments, no groups of people wandering the streets of campus. Elaine hadn’t painted her college life.


She had painted her home.

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