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Getting the Brush Off

De
136 pages
Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart was kicked out of the prestigious Burke Academy when her mother could no longer afford the tuition. She lost a promising future in the arts, as well as her best friend, who didn't want to be seen with an art-academy reject. But now, without Burke's rigid structure, Sydney has found her true passion in performance painting and is busking on Halifax's boardwalk to earn enough money to go to art camp. After the police shut her down, Sydney learns her old school is hosting a "brush-off" speed-painting contest with a cash prize. Entering would mean facing her painful past, not to mention her former friend, who's also competing.
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Getting the Brush GettingtheBrush Off Off Mere Joyce Mere Joyce
GettingtheBrush Off Mere Joyce
Copyright ©2017Mere Joyce
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Joyce, Mere,1988–, author Getting the brush off / Mere Joyce. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 978-1-4598-1358-8 (softcover).—isbn 978-1-4598-1359-5(pdf).— isbn 978-1-4598-1360-1(epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8619.o975g48 2017jc813'.6 c2017-900870-6 c2017-900871-4
First published in the United States,2017 Library of Congress Control Number:2017933022
Summary:In this highinterest novel for teen readers, Sydney hopes to win a painting competition to pay for art camp. Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Edited by Tanya Trafford Cover photography by iStock.com
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com 20 19 18 17 • 4 3 2 1
To Finn, for fueling my creativity and always making me smile.
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know wa e peope passîng by on e board-I wak are înkîng. ey’re înkîng ï’m srange. ey’re înkîng ï’m wîd. ey’re înkîng,What on earth is she doing? hey’re oo busy înkîng o acuay wac me creae. ï sand în a bae our posîîon as ï waî or e ree beas o sîence o îck by beore e rapîd drumbea o Wayward îdes, my avorîe Marîîme punk band, pounds roug e say aîr o e Haîax Harbour. ï drop my arms and spîn around în îme wî e bea, grabbîng a brus wîe ï’m sî mîd-moîon. e peope beînd me noîce e mass o snow-cone-bue aîr pîed în a messy bun on e
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op o my ead. hey noîce e sma gauges în my ears, and e sîver rîng în e rîg corner o my boTom îp. hey even noîce e rîpped skînny jeans and e paîn-covered Bondîe -sîr. Bu ey don’ noîce ow my paînbrus dîves îno my paee, or ow e paîn îes roug e aîr as ï swoop back o ace my ease. ey don’ noîce ow e brus sams ono e canvas, makîng do ater do o coor beore ï wîs e woe canvas sîdeways and grab a dîFeren brus o work wî a dîFeren sade o paîn. hey noîce e arîs, bu ey don’ noîce e ar. Wîc îs exacy ow ï îke î. ï bob my ead as ï wîpe gray paîn on e back bandanna wrapped around my wrîs. ï dîp e brus îno yeow paîn însead and add î o e gray. “Wa’s goîng on?” someone wîspers rom beînd me. “Jus wac,” someone ese repîes. ï can amos ear e anîcîpaîon în eîr voîces, and ï ove î. ï ove îs.
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ï ît up ono my oes and do a sînge pîrou-eTe. ï peek a my growîng audîence as ï oad my brus and swîpe î în a wîde arc across e canvas. he group o onookers sared as ony a coupe o young gîrs, bu în e space o wo mînues î’s grown o a dozen or more curîous bysanders. Perec. More peope means more îps. Pus, î gîves me a beTer cance o seîng e Inîsed paînîng aterward. ï rock my souders în îme wî e musîc and raîse one eg îg în e aîr în an arabesque srec. ï grîp my exended anke wî my et and and bend a e waîs—pencé!—comîng în cose o add Ine back dos o e pîcure ï’m creaîng. ï know wa ï wan îs paînîng o ook îke. ï knew e momen ï sared paînîng î. ï’s comîng ogeer as. Peope don’ ang around on e boardwak, wacîng someone paîn, or ong. So ï’ve earned ow o make an enîre paînîng în e space o a sînge song. Now îs one îs amos ready. Amos, bu no quîe.ï aven’ compeed e sow ye. ï pace a as îny do on e canvas, and en ï row my paînbrus o e ground as î ï’m urîous wî î. ï lex my Ingers, raîse em above
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my ead and wîgge em în e aîr so ï know e peope wacîng me can see. hen ï brîng em down o e sma abe se up nex o my ease, were ï keep my suppy o paîns. ï wase no îme dîppîng my Ingerîps îno severa dîFeren bobs o buîs coor, e paîn warmed rom e mîdsummer Haîax sun. hîs îs my avorîe par. ï ît my Ingers, paîn drîppîng oF my naîs. ï wîr around în a lurrîed doube urn beore ï pus my ands ono e pîcure, smearîng e paîn unî ï’ve go e coors jus rîg. A coupe o peope appaud my dance, and one person augs wen ï sar usîng my Ingers on e canvas. Bu eîr curîosîy soon makes em quîe agaîn. he boardwak around us îs busy, bu ï don’ ear e buse over e bea o my musîc. ï sîde my Ingers rom e cener o e paînîng ouward o e edge and en wîpe my ands on my sîr. ï sep back rom e paînîng, akîng a ew seconds o consîder e work as ï îp-sync aong o e musîc and pay some beas on a se o aîr drums. hen ï prance orward, snac up a Ina brus and aTack e canvas wî sor srokes o wîe paîn.
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Wen ï’m done, ï crouc îno a ow squa beore ï pop up îno e aîr, rowîng my arms and egs ou îke a sarîs. On my way back down ï grab e paînîng oF îs ease. ï sîde îno a sîde spî—no easy ask în my îg jeans—and pace e canvas on e ground beore me. ï dîg my red îpsîck ou o my pocke, coa my îps and ean my ace rîg down o e boTom edge o e canvas. ï kîss e sî-we paîn, panîng a rîm o sîcky îpsîck în e corner. Sîgned wî a kîss. Now e paînîng’s done. ï draw my egs în and pu myse up jus as e song ends. ï wîpe paîn and îpsîck rom my mou and gîve e crowd a grîn. ï pace e work back on e ease so everyone can seee Inîsed produc. ï akes severa seconds beore e cappîng begîns. ï aways does. he peope around me don’ know wa o expec rom my perormance, bu e preTy paînîng o wa ey can now see îs e Haîax Harbour, wî îs gîsenîng waer, docked a sîps and gowîng sunse, sî manages o surprîse em. “ï’s ovey,” a woman says, and soon e oers agree. eîr ands come ogeer o
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appaud my perormance or reac îno eîr pockes or some spare cange. Yes! ï smîe modesy, îke ï’ve creaed îs paînîng jus or e un o î and dîdn’ even know anyone was wacîng. ï jus manage o gracîousy accep my Irs coîns, jangîng îno e can benea e and-paîned sîgn readîngArt by hArt, wen ï ook up o see e bue suîs o wo poîce oîcers breakîng roug e crowd. “Mîss Sydney Har?” one o em asks. “Yea, a’s me,” ï repy, gîvîng e paîr my sweees smîe. he Irs oicer gances a my paînîng, en Ixes me wî a seady ook. “here ave been some compaîns.” Oh, great. So muc or my îps.
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