Recently my husband and I attended a children’s art sale, where the proceeds of the event went directly back to the children whose tempera painted masterpieces where being sold. I have a natural affinity for most creative money making ideas, and particularly those of children trying to earn money, since I believe it’s a great thing for kids to learn how to earn and manage money.
There were dozens of paintings for sale, and most if not all appeared to have been done by pre-elementary aged children, so they were stunning to look at, to say the least. There was one with a huge yellow sunshine, beaming down over a brown square thing with a gray triangle on top it (a house, I think), and some colorful paint blobs that sort of resembled people – or dogs. There was one that looked a bit like a car – probably a race car if the child was anything like my sons were at that age, and of course there were more than a few indiscernible paint blobs that pretty much engulfed the whole canvas. You know the kind – the work of children that will probably to grow up to be salesmen, or financial types: kids that probably will never have any actual skill at painting, but whose idea it always is to sell their art – so it sort of works for them anyway. It was a truly delightful experience.
The Furry Babies notwithstanding, my husband and I have no small children at home anymore, so there certainly was no obligation that we acquire one of the masterpieces on display, yet having paused long enough to take it all in, my eye fell to one painting, and I knew immediately it would have to be mine. Throwing caution to the wind, I enquired about the price. (Paintings on display at gallery are seldom cheap!) Good fortune was on our side though, because the price was commensurate with the artist’s recognition of value for that priceless one of a kind work of art. It was five dollars. We counted out the dollars quickly and made our exit, before the young artist would perhaps change her mind.
The painting, which is the featured image of this blog post, was titled simply “Turtle”, and I think anyone would have to agree, the artist perfectly captured the essence of her subject. It also perfectly evokes a response from me every time I look at it – which is the very essence of true art.
When I was a child my mother bought me turtle. It was not much larger than a quarter and probably cost about that much as well. The poor creature; I literally lost it on the way home in the car. It was found, mind you, but I also lost it several more times. Several of these times, as if by magic, the turtle would just turn up in the trunk of the car. (It either crawled through the space between the seat cushions, or perhaps a look alike was purchased and miraculously found there again and again by my mom.) Whatever the case, she either eventually set the little guy ‘free’ – or just stopped buying replacements – because the last time I lost it…well, you see where this headed…
Looking at my new, turtle painting, I realize how much that little turtle impacted my life. I couldn’t have been more than about five or six – with an attention span commensurate with my age – so I probably only had the turtle for a few days, but I learned an awful lot about life from it.
In those early years, when I heard the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, I remembered that little turtle and I was proud of him – and wanted to be like him. Remember the story, how the rabbit seemed the sure thing and the likely winner of the race, but he ended up losing to the much less qualified turtle because the turtle just ran his own race and never gave up till he crossed the finish line.
What a great story, and a great reminder. Success in not guaranteed for the one that appears to be the most qualified one. Success comes to those who work hard and persevere, regardless of the odds against them.
Take it from the turtle. Now, go and do likewise.