“Fuck the brush,” she muttered, squeezing a daub of paint onto her finger and smearing it against her thumb.
For the next few hours, she reworked the red mass on the canvas, pressing harder and harder against the cloth, smearing paint with the same heavy vertical strokes, only now with her body, not just the brush. She transitioned from using just her fingers to attacking the painting with her palm, her wrist, elbow, knee…
The light from the window faded. She flipped on the overhead lights with her toe and kept at it.
She caught a glimpse of herself in the small mirror hung on the wall. A sight to behold, she thought. Paint all over her body, smeared on her arms, her torso, across her thighs, hand-prints all over her skin where she’d wiped off her hands for the next shade of red.
She fished a camera out of her bag resting against her bed and set up her small tripod. “These are not for sale,” she reassured herself. “These are not art. I’m just documenting the process.”
She’d never taken photography of herself naked before. Other people, sure, as part of her art degree. The slip of paper certifying her as having four years of education in art was buried somewhere in her parent’s house. But she’d never taken a picture of herself nude. And definitely not covered in paint.
A couple of test shots looked sickly and weak. She pulled out an extra flash and tried again.
This time, the red popped right off her skin, glowing in the otherwise dim room. She was gloriously detached from herself as she clicked the remote over and over again, posing herself as if she were just another model. Her fingers flicked over her body, scratching here and there to bring out a stronger contrast between her pale skin and the paint.