In early summer, while working at Ceres Gallery in Portsmouth, a young artist, Sophia, came in with her dad. Her desire to explore an art gallery when just a few paces down the street was an ice cream parlor heightened my attention to her. I watched as she gave herself over to looking at the paintings on the walls and then spotted my easel and the painting in progress there. I told her it was a painting going into an upcoming exhibit at NHAA called Café Life. She told me she had used many different mediums but never oil paints. I handed her my paintbrush and told her to go for a spin on my palette and canvas. No hesitation, she just took that brush and dipped it in the pool of paint and went right to the canvas with bold but delicate strokes. I believe those strokes remain in the painting on the green-lit wall.
In August, she returned again to Ceres Gallery and her dad showed me the photo (above) of her painting, and I said, “Oh my, Sophia! That painting is hanging this month in NHAA! You have to go see it all finished!!!” Within the hour, I had received a text from her dad with the photo above and below.
It is always gratifying to play even the smallest role in awakening a person’s aesthetic response to the world. I’m grateful for Sophia and her dad for allowing me that opportunity and for allowing me to share this story.