My Grandma's Oil Paints

I have a clear picture in my mind. A picture of my grandma standing right beside the window on her studio, lights hitting the canvas as her shaky hands grow stronger with the sun, somewhat like the flowers she was painting. It was one of her passions, it was a reminder of her own mother who taught her, and her grandmother before that; it was choice rather than a tradition. Her children paint as well, my dad, my aunts and uncles, nevertheless no one could paint like her. She always had smudges from her oil paints in her hands, sometimes even in her face as she accidentally scratched herself with her brushes. But what I really miss, is how I loved to see her little toolbox contrasting with the big canvases she always painted. She was one of those artists who only use 5 color paints to make all the colors they needed. She owned an obsessive amount of oil paint tubes with the same 5 tones, the primary three: magenta, cyan and canary, and the light and shadow makers: black and white. She was the one who taught me how to paint. She was the one that inspired and brought me closer to the arts. I study Animation and Digital arts because of her. While sometimes even my parents doubted my career choice, she always said to me that life could not and would not be truly life if it wasn’t because of the freedom in the arts. I still remember going to paint with her sometimes, I would have a small replica of everything she used herself, sometimes, I would even smudge paint in myself just to look like her. I still miss those times. Whenever I make something new, whether it’s a small sketch or a big composition, I try to show it to her. Whenever her gaze falls upon my artwork, just for a moment you can still see the sparkle beneath those wrinkly eyes and her thin mouth proudly smile. She doesn’t paint anymore. It’s not because she is not able to paint, she chose not to. It all stopped when my grandpa died. She once told me that he was her one and true inspiration, he was the one that made her happy and willing to give life to a canvas. Now, she feels guilty whenever she gets close to her studio. She says she’s guilty of being happy without him. Still I know that’s not the only reason why she stopped painting. The other reason is still in her studio. Right beside the window, as it has always been, underneath a white cloth lays a canvas. And in that canvas, a halfway done painting of herself and my grandpa, his face completely painted, and hers just a sketch. And I know, that right beside that canvas, lay her old oil paints, drying in their open tubes, just like she left them 5 years ago.