Writer paints magical picture of his art-loving todler

By STUDY28|Violette Stepaniuk

Once upon a time, at a gallery in Banff, Alberta, I saw a painting of a young boy standing in front of a large canvas. I couldn’t take my eyes of that mesmerized little person, the painter’s son. I don’t remember the artist’s name or the title of the work, but I do remember how that painting touched me, and I still have a ton of regret for not buying it.

Today I read a recent Ottawa Citizen article, a part of which reminded me of that special painting. David Reevely, a Citizen writer and blogger, shared a magical 40-minute “moment” with his art-loving two-year-old son during their visit to the National Gallery of Canada. Even Dickens can’t offer you a sweeter story this Christmas.

The time with the two-year-old had a magical moment, the kind of experience you imagine you’ll have a lot more of before you become a parent. During our trip through the collection, we paused in the Water Court, where the sound of gently rippling water echoes off the concrete and stone walls. Our little break lasted 40 minutes, my younger son sitting peacefully on my lap, just listening.

He never does that. He’s a well-behaved little boy but he’s not the type to sit still.

Other kids came and went, ran around, chatted with their parents, hopped along the stone benches. My boy sat with me and emitted the occasional happy sigh. When we absolutely had to leave, he didn’t want to. “Are you ready to go?” I’d whisper in his ear. “No,” he’d say quietly.

He was so taken by Lawren Harris’s North Shore, Lake Superior that we bought a poster that’s on his bedroom wall. He liked Chromatic Accelerator, too, and was drawn to Van Gogh’s Iris, so he’s got some taste.

As the title of this article suggests – Reevely: Why I’m not in a hurry to go back to the National Gallery – much of the visit wasn’t picture-perfect for the young art-connoisseur-in-training and his dad. It’s the holiday season, however, so first I say, “Thank you” to David Reevely for sharing this touching story with us; then, choosing to see the glass half full, I hope that after lessons learned there will be no shortage of magic to experience in Ottawa galleries in the New Year.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

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