Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Real Talent in This House

I would like to think that I have some creativity, but talent?....that might be another thing.
In my household, the true talent is my younger twin.
The posting about my recent painting of the dining room captured some of the artwork on the walls. Two of the framed pieces were done by my son who, along with his older (by 2 minutes) brother, turned 17 recently. The above 'Cluster of Pears' was done last summer (whoops- this is the picture I took before he added the stems). This 'Van Gogh Inspired Wheat Field' was also done last summer. These two were done during a summer session pastel class at the nearby Wallingford Community Art Center.

Last summer, my son crafted his own job. He created artwork. At the beginning of the summer, we sat down and developed a business plan. I had him figure out how much he would make if he was paid minimum wage at a summer job. We then assigned an average value to a piece of artwork to determine how many pieces he would have to produce to make an equivalent amount of money.
I made him treat his artwork like a professional. He had to get up in the morning as if he was leaving the house for a job and get to work after some household chores.

These are some of the pieces that he produced which were part of our mother/son home show last holiday season.

It was obvious that my son had a unique ability as soon as he held a crayon at toddler age, and it has been so satisfying to watch his talent mature. As he produced these pieces for his 'summer job' I matted and framed them. While the goal was to make money to set aside for college, I did let him know that the choice to keep a piece or to sell it was completely his choice. The thought of some of these pieces leaving (as the previous four pieces did) made me sad, but it was very empowering for my son as his artwork practically flew out of our house once the show got underway. My son set the prices, and they were not inexpensive!

Thankfully, my son decided there were some pieces that he would not part with. 'Leaping Salmon' was done for a national art competition sponsored by Save Our Salmon, an organization in Washington state. My son's piece won second place and was on display in the rotunda at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.'Plate of Mangoes' won Grand Prize in our district's Congressional Art Competition and it was on display for a year at the Capitol in Washington, DC. This also won First Place in the category of Illustration in the Wallingford Community Art Center 2009 Member's Show.
This piece 'Prairie Dusk' created quite a stir. An image of this was used on the postcard that I sent out to announce our show, and everyone wanted this. The first person who came to our home show purchased it. How nice that it was my son's beloved 4th grade art teacher.
The thing that I consider remarkable about my son's talent is that he is legally blind. He and his brother were born more than 3 months premature and have lifelong complications as a result. Fortunately, my younger artist twin is only dealing with vision issues. But unfortunately, his vision has been deteriorating. I am thankful that he has already produced a body of work that clearly illustrates his talent and has given him pride of accomplishment. That is something that he will have for the rest of his life.

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