In daylight

Hotel in Kanapali, Maui 2019

Hotel in Kanapali, Maui 2019


I study the figure with care.

I draw my pencil across the paper as my eyes move over every detail. She has a slight lean to one side as if she is standing with her weight on one foot. Male or female? Tiny nipples protrude. The arms finish in a brutal, sharp line cut just below each armpit. Each end is decorated with an intricate pattern raised into a soft triangle.

I can’t quite tell if the patterns are covering a naked torso. A strap lays in a diagonal line from the left shoulder to right hip with loops that could hold a sword. At the top of her hip, there is the waistband of a piece of clothing; a sari or trousers folded just under the belly button. A heavy, layered necklace decorates her neck from the ring of beads at her collarbone to the hoops that hang along the breastbone.

Her head tilts at the same angle as her body. Her eyes look down gazing at a point somewhere near my thighs. Her ear-lobes are long and distended perhaps from the weight of jewellery. A tiara rests against the top of her forehead decorated in a similar way to the necklace. Her nose is straight and long, disappearing into shadow on her right side. Her lips are full and still.

The torso balances on a functional, square, wooden plinth marked with a small brass plaque. The light of the day falls over her left side, pushing the background into shadow. My pencil moves across the paper, picking, drawing, making lines and shapes and selecting tones. I wonder who she is? I wonder where she came from.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.