In September 2009 my younger daughter Alina came to my studio for an hour or two. That visit led to an illustrated short story “Art and Sweetcorn”.
Here it is:
Sweetcorn is hot this season.
On the way to the studio I made a detour to the Farmers’ Market, but going home in the evening forgot the bag with the goodies behind.
– Alina, I’ve got sweetcorn in the studio. Would you like to come with me to get it?
Off we go.
Out of the door, turn left…
– Mummy, can we take the shortcut?
– That way takes longer, Alina!
– I don’t care!
carry on down The Mint;
up through the inn car park;
right down the cobbled street;
past the corner house with the pigeons;
take the passage on the left;
past the lamp-post;
into the court yard.
Some days my girls like to come to my studio, some days they don’t. Depends.
– Alina, would you like to cook the corn here, or would you rather go home?
– I don’t mind, mummy, I can eat it cold.
– Yes, but it’s not cooked: you have to cook it first.
– Aw… (disappointment strength 8/10). Can I do painting while it’s being cooked then?
– You may.
– I want to do Art.
Sweetcorn’s in the pan.
– Which paint would you like, this (oils) or this (acrylics)?
– I want this one (acrylics).
– There you go.
– Can I have those little rolling things as well?
– Yes, sure. And there is your paper.
She is all settled, painting on the floor;
I am at the table, drawing her.
We are busy doing Art.
Sweet aroma slowly fills the room…
– Is the sweetcorn ready yet?
(glance at the clock)
– No, not yet. Another 10 minutes or so…
5 minutes later:
– I think the sweetcorn is ready now.
– Come on, then!
– Okay! – I put the pencil down and get the sweetcorn.
It is hot. I put one cob under the running cold water. Alina comes to the sink to wash her hands.
– I painted the difference between the Sea and the Soil.
– Oh, cool!
Hands clean, she is content.
– Can I eat my sweetcorn now?
I give her the cooled-down cob, and place the plate with more of them on the arm of the chair. She climbs into the chair. Satisfaction 10/10. Life is good.
– Alina, are you going to paint any more?
– In that case, you need to tidy up.
– Arrgghh, Godddd!