• Published 2nd May 2016
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The Last Impressionist - CrackedInkWell

On the way home one night, Fancy Pants discovers a painting of extraordinary quality being thrown away in the trash in the poorer part of Canterlot. Curious, Fancy discovers a depressed artist who's down on his luck named Acrylic Brush.

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Chapter 15: The Portrait of Hoity Toity

Since it was Hoity Toity’s turn, I figured that I would tag along for lunch while Acrylic worked. Fleur didn’t have to come with us as we headed towards the most opulent and safest part of the city. Besides, Hoity’s residence is part of a gated community which means that to bring my bodyguard in would be considered too much considering the security there.

Not to mention that finding Hoity’s home wasn’t hard to find at all. Acrylic, as soon as the taxi entered into the neighborhood, stuck his head out to one of the houses and said, “That is an alarming shade of pink.”

“That’s the old bloke’s house,” I told him.

He looked at it again, “Are you sure?”

I nodded, “I don’t blame you for thinking otherwise, and I admit that his tastes can get rather… too flamboyant, even for my personal tastes.”

“You can say that again.”

“I don’t blame you for-”

“That’s not what I meant!”

Chuckling, I said, “Forgive me, I just couldn’t resist.”

“So who else lives here? I don’t think I’ve been to this part of Canterlot?”

While our taxi pulled over to let us off, I explained, “That’s because you haven’t gotten to the more affluent clients yet such as celebrities and what not such as Sapphire Shores or Caesar. So I must warn you that the ponies in this neighborhood tend to be rather… vain.”

“Like Hoity Toity?”

I shrugged as we approached the elaborate, gold leaf front door, “More or less. But knowing Hoity, he isn’t a bad pony per-say, it’s just that he’s used to living like royalty since he inherited a fortune that he couldn’t help but be a bit… show-offish.”

After the doorbell was rung, Hoity’s hoofcolt let us in and showed us where the chap was in this Rococo maze. Up red velvet stairs and down gilded hallways of either classical statues of stallions or Romantic style paintings of landscapes. Passing dozens of crystal chandeliers we arrived in the dining room that would comfortably fit at least a party of fifty in one room, and there at the end of the Titanic table was Hoity himself. Not to mention without his sunglasses.

“Ah, Fancy! Acrylic,” the gray stallion got up from his cushion seat and walked towards us. “Welcome to my humble abode.”

Mr. Brush took a look around the high vaulted, stain glass windows, and the cloud-like mural on the ceiling, “This is humble?”

Hoity laughed as he gave us the Prench greeting by kissing both sides of our cheeks, to which Acrylic blushed. “You’re a funny one, aren’t you? So could I offer you a little something beforehoof?”

Taking a deep breath, the red stallion told him, “I’ve already eaten, sir. Although Mr. Pants hasn’t eaten yet, so I was hoping I could get to work right away.”

“Ah, I see,” Hoity grinned, “straight to the point. I see why you like him, Fancy.”

I snorted, “Now Hoity, you’re not here to flirt with him. He has a job to do and I want to have lunch with you.”

He rolled his eyes, “Oh alright. You’re no fun,” the three of us trotted to the end of the table where most of the food sat. While I took my seat, Hoity looked over at Mr. Brush as he was setting up his tripod. “Are you sure you don’t want anything?”

“No sir, I want to get to work right away.”

“How long will this take?”

“I just have to sketch you is all. Once I got the look of it then I can start painting so you won’t have to hold still for very long.”

“It will be quick,” I told the gray chap. “Just give him about five minutes, and then we’ll have lunch.”

He looked at the Artist in surprise, “What? Right here? Aren’t you worried you might drop some paint on the floor?”

“I will be very careful sir.” After he places the canvas tightly on the easel, he took out his pencil. “By the way, do you want to be looking towards or away from the viewer in this picture?”

He gave him a smirk with some bedroom eyes, “What do you think sweetheart?”

Mr. Brush quickly disappeared behind the canvas and immediately started sketching.

I took the liberty to clear my throat, “I believe it’s considered rude to be hitting on somepony you know that’s dating someone else?”

“Oh, that’ reminds me,” he said, “a little birdy told me that you two went out on a second date. How did it go?”

“We went to the symphony using Lord Night Light’s tickets,” I said. “I would say overall that Mr. Brush was quite sweet overall.”

“That is if you don’t count the hiccups,” Acrylic said behind the canvas.

“What happen?” Hoity inquired.

“To make a long story short,” I told him, “He had a panic attack during the performance but I was able to calm him down. Not in loud wails but just suddenly started crying.”

“Fancy,” Mr. Brush spoke up, “this is embarrassing.”

“Oh, my apologies,” I nodded my head. “I’ve forgotten how sensitive you are with these things.”

“It’s… fine. I’m almost done with his sketch anyway.”

Once the Artist was finished with that step, Hoity and I began dishing out while he set out to put paint on his palette.

“So what about you then old chap,” I turned to the gray stallion. “Single again?”

He always laughs at this joke, “And looking for fun? Of course, I am. I showed Fashion Plate a good time if you know what I mean.”

“Honestly Hoity, with these escapades, I still wonder how you move about without limping the next morning.”

“I’m afraid that’s top secret.” He giggled, “But in all seriousness, for lasting a night, he was really fun. I mean there wasn’t a single negative bone in his body. He was just so positive and lively about everything. And by the time we got into bed,” he wiggled his eyebrows, “Let’s just say it was to die for.”

“I’ll take your word for it. But I’d rather take my time with these sorts of things; after all, I’m looking for genuine love.”

He rolled his eyes, “And I wonder where you find the patience to do it. But speaking of which, are you two going to go out again?”

“We’ve just gone out last night,” I pointed out. “Yet… I am considering it.”

At this point, Mr. Brush craned his neck around, “You are?”

“Oh you lucky, lucky devil,” Hoity said. “Do you know what this means?”

He raised an eyebrow, “That he would want to date me a third time?”

“No no no!” the gray stallion shook his head; “I don’t think you really understand what it means when Fancy here is asking you out a third time, don’t you? You see, he doesn’t declare that you are in a relationship, not if you can prove yourself with a test of his.”

The red stallion blinked, “Test?”

“You see, if you pull off going on three dates with him, he'll then call you his coltfriend. Very few are lucky to make it that far since he spreads these dates every week or so. If you somehow are able to make it good on the third date, then you’ll be with the most sought after bachelor in Canterlot. You’ll be the envy of every mare and stallion in town.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “Oh knock it off with that.”

“But is that true,” Acrylic asked, “About the whole test thing?”

After nodding, I explained, “I have to be thorough when it comes to this sort of thing. When you are sought after by gold diggers, I have to be careful when in the romantic field. But at this point, you ought to be honored; very few ponies make it past the first date! Not only that, but even from that hiccup from last night, I still stand by my opinion that you were quite the gentlecolt overall and didn’t overstep any boundaries.”

“But you’re not sure about a third date?” he asked.

“It’s a little too early to tell, but I’m leaning towards yes for now. If this does happen, I think I would hand over where we go over to you this time. I think it’s only fair that you get to treat me out.”

Nodding with a blush, he resumed painting, “I’ll think about it, sir.”

“Hey Acrylic,” Hoity said, “Can I ask you something. And no, it has nothing to do with this hunk over here.”

Mr. Brush put on a skeptic look on his face, “About what?”

“Your painting style: don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore your work. But it’s got me wondering… Why Impressionism? Have you ever tried other styles like trying to make them look realistic or done something modern like Cubism or Abstract art?”

Acrylic painted away, deep in thought as he applied different shades of color onto the canvas. “To be honest, I have seen other artworks before. I’ve seen paintings of Leonardo de Neighci, David, and even Turner in a few books from the town I grew up in. I thought that doing something as realistic as that was impossible since nopony there knows how to do something like that. Picasso and Dali I thought had interesting ideas but they all look weird to me and, if I may say so, impersonal.

“But then, one day before I got my cutie mark, I found this beaten up book. I don’t know where I found it, but what I found inside changed my life. I saw copies of Moneigh’s garden, Cézanne’s fruit, van Gogh’s café’s, or Gauguin’s paradise, and those images… I know this is going to sound crazy, but they all spoke to me in a way I understood. That these ponies took the ordinary of everyday life in nature, in cities, even among other ponies, and turned them into visions of heaven. One that wasn’t cold and stiff, but moving and alive.

“So, as you can guess, I found some brushes, paints, and a piece of cardboard, and I began to paint. When I finished, I found my mark had appeared on my flank. Even when the town, including my parents, called it ‘unfinished,’ ‘disjointed,’ and ‘ugly,’ I knew that it was my calling. I did try to experiment with paints and styles, but my Impressionism always looked the best out of all of them. So I stuck with it ever since.”

“Then how come you doubted your abilities?” Hoity asked, “I’ve read somewhere that you thought every painting you did was bad.”

“When you live in a place that doesn’t see your talent to be going away where, or when you moved out that your art doesn’t catch on, or that you ended up behind a garbage bin because only one of them sold cheaply, I think you too would doubt your talent.”

“But let’s not dwell in the past Mr. Brush,” I spoke up. “We have gotten you back on your hooves now, and that’s all that matters.”

He nodded as he returned to his work.

“So Fancy,” Hoity asked, “is there anything you’re looking forward to?”

“Well… I have this idea in my head that, I think it might be time to take a vacation.”

“Where to?”

“I’m not sure yet. I’ve got enough cash to go to Mars and back, only I’m not exactly sure where to go except for something exotic.”

“What about Neighpon?”


“Well, didn’t your Dad go there for a while?”

“Yes, why?”

“How about it? Just take yourself and your possible coltfriend out of the country to Neighpon? Go on a bit of an adventure to a place you’ve never been before… You haven’t been there, have you?”

“No, I haven’t. I should probably ask Father about it and see. But in the meantime, I’ll think it over.”

“Finished sir,” Acrylic announced as he stepped away from the portrait.

Hoity got up and went over to face the painting. His jaw dropped, “My… hello me.” Judging by the satisfying grin on his face, I could tell that he’s in love with himself. “You sir are getting quite the check before the paint is even dry.”

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