Tristan is having an unbelievable year artistically. Earlier this year I wrote about how the first poem he’d ever written at the age of four was published in a book, Homeland, along with 200 other people of all ages across the United Kingdom. And now he’s had his first oil pastel artwork sold!
Last month Cynthia, owner of The Gallery, Whitehead opened up her conservatory gallery and each month is exhibiting the works of other artists. The first exhibit had some work by a camera club friend of mine. The second exhibit, however, was going to be one that Tristan will forever remember. She had advertised that for 3 weeks during the month of October she would feature the works of children.
We took the opportunity for Tristan to have an art lesson with Daddy. Phil had been getting up early and going for a bike ride in the mornings before leaving for work. On occasion he would take photos on his mobile phone of the sunrises. Phil and Tristan found a photo that they liked and used this one as inspiration.
Phil drew a rough outline on a piece of paper to show Tristan how to do a rough sketch of what he would be doing. Tristan did the same on his own paper. Then Phil gave Tristan some knowledge on how to use and blend the oil pastels he was using. I don’t have photos of the process as I left the boys to have some time together for this special project, but Phil did take a photo.
Once the picture was done it was framed in the frame they had already shopped for earlier in the day.
The next day Tristan, Kallista and I walked to the gallery to pass the picture over to Cynthia. At this point Tristan had to give the picture an official title. He called it “Sunrise by The Lighthouse”. He also had to set a price for it as it would be available for sale, just as all of the other art pieces in The Gallery are. With some help he decided £10 was a fair price to ask for and Tristan left his picture behind in Cynthia’s care. On the way there we stopped to take a photo of Tristan along the path where his picture was inspired from.
On the opening day of the Children’s Exhibition we went to The Gallery as a family to see Tristan’s picture hanging on the wall with his name on a plaque below. He was now a real artist! Tristan was proud to see his picture up on the wall alongside the pictures of other talented children from the area.
When it came time to go pick up Tristan’s picture, I tried to prepare him that it may have sold, but he really wanted to bring it home again to hang it in his bedroom because he was so proud of his first oil pastel picture. When we arrived, Cynthia said she had some good news for Tristan. But when she broke the news to Tristan that his picture had sold, he dropped to his knees and shed a tear. When Tristan composed himself it was time to get down to business and Tristan was paid his £10, minus the commission (he’s really in the big world of art now!). The feel of the cash in his hands seemed to help his mood.
I had told Tristan previously that if his piece sold he would give Cynthia her commission, and he would have to pay Phil back for the price of the frame, and then he would have the rest of the money for himself to either reinvest or to save. However, Phil was so impressed with the sale of the picture that he invested in his son and said Tristan didn’t have to pay him back for the cost of the frame.
When he told Daddy that his painting had sold, he made sure to say that the next picture he did (he already has it planned) is going to be HIS OWN and will definitely hang on his bedroom wall! Tristan held his cash tight until we were back home again, and he spent the rest of the day re-counting it over and over, and the next day he tried to make his own magic tricks with it by making the coins disappear. He’s still enjoying magic, now if only he could make money APPEAR instead of disappear, we’d really have something!
I am glad that we took this opportunity when it arose to teach Tristan a new skill, and that it has worked out so well for him, even if he doesn’t see it that way at the moment. He’s learned about oil pastels, art exhibitions, commissions, and economics. I wonder what he’ll come with next?
What are your hidden talents, or those of your children, we’d love to hear!