Kassandra and River work together well. They have found a rhythm in which the tasks of planning, sketching, painting, touching up such a large piece of art are able to take place almost seamlessly.
River, it turns out, has a tremendous eye for color. Splashes of complimentary colors or fields of contrast, all work when River chooses.
Kassandra is the planner and designer. She sketches over and over again. Transfers the sketch to the wall, reconsiders, sketches some more. She moves elements from dead center to slightly off, following (generally) the rule of thirds one of her professors (was it Marilyn?) had taught her early on.
“Make sure there is something interesting in each third, vertical and horizontal. And never forget: empty space can be interesting.”
Yes, that’s Marilyn’s voice, Kassandra thinks. Although she must have spoken this rule aloud, because River turns to her, eyes curious.
“That’s a lesson from one of the best teachers I ever had,” Kassandra shares, going back to her sketching.
“What made her a good teacher?” River asks. Kassandra notes this with surprise, although she doesn’t react. River rarely speaks, and probing questions are even rarer than the few requests for assistance lifting or moving something, or mixing color.
“Well, she really cared. You know? About the art we would make, of course, but she really cared about us. Her students. People in general. The community. The world. She just, really cared. It came across in everything she did and said.”
Kassandra steps back from her sketch, thinking about Marilyn’s influence. It seems a lifetime ago, the time when Marilyn was part of her daily life. Not just a lifetime ago – a separate life, one that wasn’t disrupted by the pandemic and everything else that has happened.
River nods knowingly, goes back to the task of cleaning brushes.
“Also,” Kassandra adds with a huge grin, “she painted giant squids on the sides of buildings.”
“Awesome,” River says.