• 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 2: A Topic of Discussion

Needless to say, I kept the painting. Now don’t misunderstand me, I don’t always take whatever artwork I find and place them in a gilded frame or on a pedestal. I only do so unless I really like the piece to where I would be more than proud to have it hung on the walls of my home. This means, that only a vast minority that does so end up in my collection, as a patron of the arts, I only do so to show off my guests that I do, in fact, have exclusive tastes.

“Tell me, Fancy,” Hoity Toity looked up at the painting from his dinner for the fiftieth time. “Where did you get that lovely piece of art from? Is it a late Moneigh?”

I looked behind me at the Impressionistic sunrise in my dining room. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Tell anyway,” the critic leaned back, picking up his cup of red wine, “I’m rather curious about it.”

“Well, to tell you the truth, I honestly have no idea who it’s from,” putting my spoon into the broth of my soup, I added: “I found it the other night by accident.”

“How so?”

“Well Hoity, believe it or not, I found it in a garbage can.”

This got the stallion’s attention, “You can’t be serious!”

“I am, Fleur could testify to it too. We were on the way home when the driver went down the poor part of the city when suddenly we heard a bang and found this painting was thrown out of a window of one of those cheap apartment places. I jumped out and was able to save it from getting wet.”

Hoity looked up at the picture again, “Now why do you suppose anypony would do that? I mean, I would gladly pay the artist to have it hung in my mansion. For I’ll give you this Fancy, it’s intense, colorful and there’s a sort of depth to it with all its layers. Does it remind you of the masters of the Post-Impressionist movement?”

“It certainly has that feel, yes.” I agreed, “It’s not quite a Van Go, but it’s not a Moneigh either. This thing is something else entirely. It’s wild but elegant in its simplicity. You know, I wish I know more about this artist, and why he decided to throw it away.”

“How do you know it’s a he?”

“I heard a shout from that apartment building the moment after the thing was thrown away. It sounded like a very dissatisfied stallion.”

“That I don’t get at all,” Hoity put down his glass. “What’s wrong with the painting when it’s perfect as it is? Sure it’s a bit messy but isn’t many Impressionist paintings like that?”

“They are,” I nodded. “It’s quite a mystery to me too. Such as why has nopony had ever heard of this fellow before? Clearly, the chap’s got talent, it’s clearly there. In fact, I would be more than interested in seeing what other work he’s done.”

“As do I,” he agreed. “Perhaps you should probably look into it then. Go back to that place to see if you could find this painter and see if he has any patrons on hoof. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky.”

I raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean by that statement?”

“All I’m saying is that maybe you’ll be the first to claim this prospect like tapping into a goldmine. After all, there aren’t many Impressionist painters left in the world and us wealthy ponies wouldn’t mind buying a painting or two when there’s a good one alive.”

“Oh, I see,” after taking a gulp from my glass, a thought came to my head, “Suppose I can’t find this pony?”

“With quality like that, I think you should find him as soon as you can. After all, you said that you found this in the poorer regions of Canterlot, right? There might be a chance that he’s there because he doesn’t have many bits on hoof. So I suggest that you go find him quickly before he gets fed up and move somewhere else.”

I admit Hoity was indeed right, that painting was a rather lucky find. If I could just see what else this fellow has, perhaps he would be more than willing to cut a deal with me when he might be in financial trouble. “Very well then, I say this, tomorrow I will go back there to see if I could find this Impressionist to see what his situation is.”

“Splendid,” Hoity smiled. “Fancy, would you let me know when you found this gentlecolt? I’d be more than willing to meet this artist myself.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” I had another spoonful of soup. “But I can’t give you any guarantees if I do find him, understand?”

“I know, but it would be interesting to see who he really is.”


Fleur was beside me as we entered the neighborhood where we found the painting. In the daylight, the street itself looked very grim. Rows of apartment buildings that look as if they’re nearly holding together, shouting matches taken place every couple of yards, foals playing in the middle of the street, and the neglect for garbage to be picked up.

“Fancy, are you absolutely sure about this?” she asks, “I don’t exactly like the looks of this place.”

“But I need to find our mysterious artist,” I said. “After all, I think the art world is missing out on a talented artist who lives right here in Canterlot but is unfairly going unnoticed. We have to try to see if we could locate him.”

Fortunately for us, we were able to find the apartment building that we passed by a couple of nights ago. Like the others, it was three floors tall, had cracked windows and was kept together with brick and mortar. Number Fifty-Six it was as it was displayed above the entrance of the front door. As we entered, we quickly located the office of the complex, in which we found a mare that was rugged as the building’s façade was.

“Yes? What do you want?” she asked.

Clearing my throat, I pulled out a card of my credentials, “Good morning ma’am, I’m Fancy Pants, are you the Landlord of this establishment?”

Raising an eyebrow, she looked between my card and myself, “I am, what’s it to ya?”

“I was hoping that if you happen to know any artists that are in the building? I’ve stumbled some artwork a few days ago, and I think that the pony I’m looking for might be here.”

“Artist?” she asked, putting a wrinkled hoof under her chin, “You know, I think I know who you’re talking about.”

Ah, now I’m getting somewhere, “You do?”

“Yeah, some painter who rented a room on the second floor, Uh… Acrylic Brush I think it was.”

“Is he here by any chance?” Fleur inquired.

“Well, he used to.”

I blinked, “I beg your pardon?”

“You just missed him; I had to kick him out yesterday. His rent was well overdue and he couldn’t pay up.”

My jaw hit the floor, “What!”

“Yeah, of course, he was upset when I had the police take his things to the curb, but he signed a contract that if he doesn’t pay up within three months, I had the right to evict him.”

“Where did he go?” Fleur asked.

The Landlord shrugged, “How do I know, I don’t keep track where everypony goes. Probably begging in the streets somewhere for all I care.”

Disgusted and angry, I only thanked the mare before leaving the apartment empty hoofed, “Now what?” my bodyguard asked.

“At least this time we have a name,” I said. “It may not be much, but I think given his last location and knowing his name, we might go to a detective to see if they could track him down.” I shook my head, “Unbelievable Fleur, I mean really! That poor artist is probably homeless and we no idea where he is.”

“Calm down sir, I think we should stick with the plan of hiring a detective to track him down. We can only hope that this Acrylic Brush is still in one piece somewhere.”

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