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You’re Not Falling,
You’re Flying, 1999,
oil on canvas
32” x 48”

Alison Corbalis
Yorktown Heights, NY
Plattsburgh State

We had an early dinner the night of my eleventh birthday. After the pink frosted cake was nibbled on, Mom had gone to help with bingo night at my school’s gym. Dad was downstairs listening to messages on the answering machine, and my sisters were watching a television show, Night Court, or was it Head of the Class? I remember scraps of wrapping paper crunching under my feet as I walked into my room. Set on my desk were several acrylic paint tubes, three paint brushes, and a metal easel with a shrink-wrapped 11”x14” canvas board placed on it. In seconds the plastic wrap joined the pink wrapping paper on the floor, and I pulled on my yellow beret, which I wore only to mimic what I thought all artists looked like. I don’t remember exactly what my thoughts were when I began my first painting except that I felt content.

I set down the stained brush when I heard the rumble of Mom’s car come up the driveway. I greeted her with my painting of the trees and tire swing in our backyard. The last thing I can remember was dad saying he was going to take me to get a fan brush like the one Bob Ross used, and the chalky smell of the gym and cigar smoke in Mom’s hair as she hugged me.


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