Arts and Music: The Necessary Introductions

It was on to a new chapter in the new scene last night, but only after I watched Part Two of the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire.  I’ve been meaning to watch the whole trilogy for a while, and since it is leaving Netflix in a couple of weeks, I figured I could spend some of my time after getting home from work getting through each of the three films.  And once I’m through the films, it’s time to get to writing.

So tonight I watched the last film, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, then do another thousand words or so in the new scene–which, by the way, has Annie and Kerry out meeting Helena and Erywin at the Witch House; you can probably figure out what’s happening there.  And after that scene is done, it’s time to have the first new class with the instructor being profiled today.

We haven’t actually seen much of Matthias Ellison.  Sure, he hosts the Ostara performances Annie teaches art and music, but it is a bit more than that.  Not only did he get Kerry’s musical interests going, but during the Day of the Dead attacks we aw that he was one of the headmistress’ seconds in command, the other being Deanna.  Those are two unusual individuals to have getting ready to step in and take over the school if you’re killed, but there must be obvious reasons why both these people have that position.

Let’s hope we never get a chance to see them in action.

We ended up at Deanna yesterday and today we go over to Matthias’ office.  There’s a couple of different reasons why the kids go to see on the first day back from school, and today they’ve added another reason:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Matthias Ellison jaunted back to his office in the Auditorium precisely at thirteen hours after eating lunch with the headmistress, the staff, and the instructors of Salem in the Main Conference Room located directly across from the headmistress’s office. He was eager to get back to his office because he felt it wouldn’t be long before he was visited—not that he hadn’t been visited today. Several students, mostly new C Levels would have him for the first time, stop by to say hello and get acquainted.

But there were two students in particular Matthias was waiting to greet…

At a quarter past the hour he heard a dual pair footsteps approaching and figured that the visitors you been expecting all morning were now arriving. The moment they were framed in his doorway he stood to greet them. “Ah, there you are.”

Annie placed her hands upon her hips and smiled. “Were you really waiting for us, Professor?”

“Of course. You’ve stopped by on this day the last two years, so why wouldn’t I expect you to swing by today?” He came from around his desk and motioned Annie and Kerry towards seats. “How you doing, Kerry? Have a good summer?”

By now Kerry was used to having instructors asking him about his summer. He’d also gotten used to giving the same answer… “It could’ve been better. Things didn’t quite turn as they should.”

Matthias didn’t wish to dwell on the matter. He saw the look on Kerry’s face before he gave his answer and knew that whatever happened over the last three months, it rather pained the boy. “Well then, let’s talk about the present and the future. Are you both excited to be in my class this year?”

 

This is the year all the C Levels get to try their hand at drawing and painting.  And when we get to the scene of the first day in Professor Ellison’s class–and it is actually the next scene I’ll work on once I’m done with the current scene I’m in–one will get a chance to see just how passionate he is about art and role it plays in society.

Matthias is also somewhat empathetic to his students, and those who were about to be his students.  He realized Kerry didn’t have a good summer just from the way the boy acted: probably the professors’ ability to pick up on the feelings of a person before transferring them to the canvas.  And when the day half over Kerry is a little tired of being asked about his summer holiday–which we all know by now wasn’t

''How do I tell Mom that sharing a hotel room in different cites and killed bad guys ever so often is normal witch friends stuff?"

”Do you have to keep asking about my summer?  Couldn’t you just ask if I had any new hobbies, like mugging people using magic?”

But we quickly learn that carries a little nervous about this new class as well.  How do we know?  Because, someone tells us so:

 

“I’m extremely excited.” Annie reached over and patted Kerry’s hand. “Mi edin i samo lyubov, however—I think he’s a little nervous.”

Kerry gave a nervous shrug. “I’m not a very good artist.”

Matthias leaned against his desk. “Should I take that to mean you’re afraid you’re gonna suck? Because you already know my opinion about artists who suck.”

Kerry looked off into a corner of the room for a second while he chuckled. “At least they took their shot, right?”

“The ones who never suck are the ones who never try.” Matthias folded his hands in front of him and grew relaxed. “I’m not going to expect anyone to finish up the year with this amazing artistic ability that came from out of nowhere: it’s a skill that one needs to develop and that takes time. What I will do, however, is try and pull that ability out of you so that you can develop it properly.” He shrugged. “That’s all I intend to do: what you intend to do with what you discover is your business.”

After a moment’s thought Kerry stopped fidgeting and sat back in his chair, forcing himself to relax. “I know, Professor. Just that—”

“You want to do well. I daresay you want to be as good as this young lady sitting to your left.” Matthias turned his attention to Annie. “I do hope this introductory class doesn’t bore you, however. You’ve already shown exceptional talent in this area.”

Annie shook her head as if to dismiss his worries. “I’m a self-taught student, Professor, which means there’s always new things to learn. Even though I’m a fairly good sketch artist and painter, there’s a great deal of room for improvement.”

Matthias clapped his hands together and rubbed his palms for several seconds. “Spoken like a true artist. With art we never stop learning; just when we think we’ve learned everything there is to know, something new comes along and we have to master that.”

Kerry suddenly seemed excited. “That’s kind of what I want to talk about, Professor.”

“Oh?” Matthias set his left arm across his torso and rested his right elbow against the hand so he can rub his chin. “And what is this thing you wish to discuss?”

After a couple of deep breaths Kerry was ready to speak. “I thought a lot about my last Ostara performance and while I’m happy with it, I don’t want to repeat that. There is a couple of things I want to do for next Ostara—”

Matthias continued rubbing his chin. “Go on.”

 

We see that with like a few other things, Annie is self-taught were art is concerned.  We know she learned to draw the early age because she’s told us so: she’s mentioned that over the years her sketches in her wedding book have improved over the first one she did.  And given that she is shown over the last two years that her drawing and painting is fairly competent, it’s going to be interesting to see what she does when she has an opportunity to learn from someone who knows what they’re doing.

Kerry is nervous about art, but he’s eager to try. He is stated before on numerous occasions that he would love to know how to draw: now he is going to get his chance.  But the thing this scene does is set up something else that has Kerry’s interest, and from here on out a lot of this scene revolves around him.  And given how his relationship with Professor Ellison originally developed, probably not difficult to see where I’m going…