I tense beneath the gentle brush strokes. The painter is back at work, intent on turning me, a little blank canvas, into a painting. Who knows of what. It sure doesn’t look like anything now. I look down at the white expanse, a vast blank-ness broken only by a few scant pencil sketchings and a streak or two of background color. I feel ugly, incomplete, shameful even, when I look around at the other paintings. To my left is another painting still in the beginning stages, but from one corner of the whitewash a lone purple flower bursts with life. Yes, far from finished, but that is unmistakably a petunia, delicate and dewy, alive. To my right a still life looms large, perfectly formed fruits spilling from a bowl that lacks only a few strokes of its shadow. Across the room I see portraits, and oh how I long to be a portrait. I think I may become a landscape, or even abstract. These thoughts send shivers of anger through my wooden frame. But will I, the painting, really question the painter? I wallow in my smallness, my incompleteness, my fear that I may never be the kind of painting I want to be. But in the gallery, will there not be a place for all of the painter’s works? Yes, that vibrant still life may command attention, and the portraits may be praised for their likenesses. But when the artist chose to paint me, he envisioned me, not alone, nor in comparison to his other paintings. He made me with a specific place and role in his gallery. Without me it would be unbalanced and incomplete. So I give in to the brushstrokes, knowing that without them, I can’t become anything on my own. The most I can ever be is to fully be the painting and to hang confidently in my place in the painter’s gallery.