There was a little girl who liked to paint and draw.
She looked forward to art class at school as she loved painting. Not so much because she was good at it (she wasn’t) but because she really liked washing the palettes at the end and making patterns as the paint swirled down the drain.
She liked mushing it all together and making thick swirls of colour, the consistency of MUD. She liked putting her fingers in it – it FELT GOOD, like finger-painting when you were a LITTLE KID.
Her Pa painted very fine pictures that she loved and, because he was a GROWN UP, he didn’t have to even use PAPER that warped and buckled when it got wet with the paint. He could use CANVAS. His paintings stayed flat and beautiful, they looked like REAL ART. Not like the wrinkly creations hung by pegs to dry, like clothes on a line, that she produced at school.
She wasn’t allowed to touch Pa’s paints yet because she was just a LITTLE KID. She thought painting was something grown ups did. She couldn’t wait to be a GROWN UP.
Her art teacher was a scary, burly man with long, dark, shaggy hair and a big bushy beard. The kids teased him (behind his back of course, he was SCARY) because he carried a leather “handbag” and rode a motorbike. One day he selected a few kids with the BEST paintings and gave them a chance to paint on CANVAS. She was picked!!! She was allowed to paint like a GROWN UP!!!
She was so excited to do her painting with the other BEST PAINTERS. At the end the SCARY teacher displayed them all to the class. Another girl painted a beautifully detailed, realistic cockatoo – just like GROWN UPS did. Sadly hers, inspired by Enid Blyton’s book “The Folk in the Faraway Tree”, paled in comparison.
She took her sad little painting home to show her parents who LOVED it! (Weren’t parents just the weirdest people??). They told her it would make a lovely gift to give her grandparents, so she did.
Her grandparents LOVED it too. Her Pa was so PROUD that he made a special wooden frame for it in his SHED just like he did for his own paintings. He hung it proudly on their dining room wall – the very same wall that housed his beautiful REAL ART. It made her feel GOOD, each and every time she visited.
And there it stayed, for about 30 years, until her grandparents passed away and their house was packed up and sold.
Click here to view my recent piece, inspired by this.