The art teacher looked at Sammy’s painting, and shook her head.
“Oh, Sammy,” she said, “the composition is simply all wrong. Perhaps it has to do with your inability to see any color.”
Sammy, who was a Bassett Hound, once again stuck to his convictions.
“You just don’t know how to appreciate my work,” said Sammy. “There’s more to composition than color, you know.”
The other students in class--who all walked on two legs--giggled condescendingly.
“I assure you,” said the art teacher, “that you are most mistaken, Sammy. Yes, perhaps, every once in a while, the texture of the paint may lend itself to the overall work--just look at Van Gogh--but it is the way that an artist arranges color that makes a work of art truly great. And even if I were to take a black and white photograph of your work, I assure you, even the various shades of gray would form a giant train wreck.”
The other students nodded in agreement.
“You must think of your audience,” said the teacher. “Look about you. Do you really think anyone would appreciate this? Do you really think there is any real composition in this work?”
Sammy glared at the teacher.
“I have looked about me,” he said, “and yes, I think so. In fact, I think I’ve looked around more than you ever have, and that there’s more composition in this painting than you’ll ever know.”
On the day of the opening of the end of the year student art show, the teacher smiled as clusters of people gathered around various student works. But then she saw a much larger cluster at the far side of the gallery, and saw, to his shock, that a crowd of people were gathered around Sammy’s painting.
“The composition,” said one of the students from the school across the street, inhaling through his nose, smiling, and pausing to appreciate Sammy’s work before speaking further, “it’s just brilliant.”
“Yes,” said another, running her hand over the painting and smelling her fingers, “the way that he’s mixed the faint turpenoid smell in the top right with the subtle scent of cinnamon in the middle. It’s wonderful.” Her sunglasses had slipped down her nose slightly, and she pushed the frames back up.
“But it’s that faint floral high note that runs through the whole thing that really ties it together,” said a third, holding his dog’s harness with his left hand, and smiling as he once again smelled his right.
The man’s dog turned to Samson.
“They’re right, you know,” she said, “it really is brilliant.”
Samson straightened up with a bit of pride.
“Thank you,” he said, gazing absently at the school across the street, “sometimes you just have to look around, and think of your audience.