in the beginning


She died. They werent close by any means but there was something there, unspoken. Truth be told, not often even thought about much but there none the less. He had made a point of seeing her toward the end, to thank her and give her a painting, one that had recently won him a prize. It was all due the her ofcourse.

Mrs. Oates, Jean, head mistress of Scott St. Primary school. Beehive hair-do and mascara circa 1968. Him, all mousey mane and baggy grey shorts. Morning assembley with Union Jack and Southern Cross dancing in the warm breeze. Another school day under the South Aussie sun.

Mornings, when the easles all stood to attention and the paint pots smiled were the best. He loved the large sheets of butchers paper and brushes nearly as long as his arm. Today a painting of kids playing soccer in the yard, joyous faces and circle and stick hands. Enter Mrs beehive. Wonderful, wonderful.

She entered the boys work into a world health organization (UNICEF) youth art prize and the five year old wins a prize. More smiles and encouragement from her.

Thats all it takes.

High school and the sale of a couple of paintings before he leaves the educational cuccoon to find his way in the world. A simple pat on the back, nice work son.

Thats all it takes.

He got a job and earnt his bread but didnt stop creating. A painting shown here and there, every now and again a small sale, nothing much but enough to keep the passion ticking.

It doesnt take much, in fact by now painting is a need, like air and he couldnt stop if he tried.

With age the beehive turns to cropped grey and he with dappled beard and kids. They share the odd hello hows the art going and a smile in casual passing over the years. He sees her looking enthusiastically at his work hung with wine and cheese nibbles.

It finally dawns on him how instramental she was to his journey.

She died. They werent close but he wont forget her gift.

It doesnt take much.

Now he, in turn, takes on workshops with a new generation from time to time and thinks of her

Thank you jean


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