I mark the hours of my day reproducing the masters.
In the earliest hours, with midnight just past and the world coated in black all around, I paint ten copies of The Persistence of Memory. Each one mildly shaded as Dalí would present, each clock measured to exact proportion.
As dawn begins to lighten the sky, I start on ten copies of Water-Lily Pond. The morning hours are suited to Monet and the optimism of the impressionist - capture the movement and the light. The complexity of brush work is no obstacle to my ability to match the work stroke for stroke.
There is no stopping for me at Noon, that is when I crank out No. 61 (Rust and Blue). As simple as it looks, it requires some skill to get the blends of color just right. Rothko only had to do it once - I cannot reach the evening until ten exact replicas exist.
I approach the ending hours of the day with joy and The Figure Five in Gold. The era captured so perfectly in curve and angle, color and composition. Is it gold foil or water color? Does it matter, in the end you won't be able to discern my ten copies from the original.
Every day, I recreate four masterpieces - style, materials, imagery, all exactly the same. Something, though, is missing. You see, I am not the original artist. Some power is missing. I cannot claim to exactly capture the heart, soul, and intent that collected in each unique and original piece. I can only reproduce these four, indiscernible yet lacking.
As I grow I occasionally get the opportunity to learn a new piece - I discard one and take on another. Which will be next? Guernica? Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère? Campbell's Soup I? Whatever it may be, I will duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate, etc. and yet never achieve the same power.