Since she was a little baby, our daughter Aura was extremely gifted in drawing. At first, we didn’t notice because we thought it was a normal phase in the development of a child to express themselves through scribbles. We weren’t educated enough to recognize the genius in our house. Unfortunately, we have not saved the thousands of paper she scribbled on, but the loss is even worse; we have repainted the walls where, in the first three years, she left her artistic trace. Everything is destroyed irretrievably.
I remember the period when points were the focus of her artistic expression. This “pointillism,” as I learned later through reading art literature, was the stage of creating points on a clean white surface. I complained to my husband that Aura used too much paper to draw only one point. It was because I simply didn’t realize that behind this irrationality was pure art. I should have had more understanding instead of explaining that paper could be much better utilized. Ignorance has turned out to be the greatest enemy of human development.
When she was two years old, Aura seemed to have a more rational approach to the white surface. New motifs began to appear; lines of various sizes which seemed to be randomly sorted by us, but only because we were not artistically educated. What we considered to be random scribbles was pure art again. The real turning point was when Aura was given new tools for artistic expression: a brush and paint. On white surfaces, she applied colors. As if in a trance, colors went everywhere except the paper. Every artist needs a ‘muse’ that will clean the mess behind them, and the muse is usually mom.
So one day, I was at my appointed task of muse, cleaning the walls while Aura painted the sun and the sea. The sun was yellow and the sea was blue. The sun was up and the sea was down. Silly me would have forgotten this marvelous landscape and ignored the artistic genius of my own child if I hadn’t noticed this news on the Internet: a painting identical to Aura’s sold for a whopping $46.5 million in a New York Gallery.
Many thoughts came to my mind at that moment. I knew that we had a talented baby at home, but I couldn’t ever dream that we had an artist with the ability to paint a million dollar canvas. Immediately, I said to my husband with great excitement, “You will not believe this! Remember Aura’s picture of the yellow-blue sun-sea? He probably didn’t remember, but he said he did.
“Listen to this — a painting identical to Aura’s was just sold in New York for 46.5 million dollars!”
I showed him the news and an image of the painting. We stared at it for a few seconds, and then we suddenly called Aura who seemed to have been experiencing some sort of artistic crisis because she was crumpling up all she had drawn. Nothing was good enough and this news was arriving at the right moment to build her confidence.
“Aura, honey, look at this picture. Do you remember?!
You have to paint the same again.” “I will not paint it!” she refused firmly.
“You must. For such a painting, we can get a lot of money!”
My argument did not mean much to her because Aura was apparently one of those artists who wouldn’t sell themselves for money.
“I will not paint it. I want to draw a unicorn.”
“Honey, we can draw a lot of unicorns later, but now please sit down and paint this one.”
I showed her the internet painting from the New York gallery. I knew we couldn’t force the artist to create something because inspiration must come by itself. I tried to make sure that the inspiration came quickly, helping it along by making Aura’s favorite chocolate pudding. “Honey, if you draw this painting, you will get a nice chocolate pudding.
Hurry or it will get cold before you finish it.”
The smell of pudding was inspirational, so Aura finished the sun-sea painting before the pudding cooled. My husband and I looked at it with admiration. It was the same as that million dollar painting! While our Van Gogh was eating chocolate pudding, we decided to present the masterpiece immediately to the public. We decided that it would be best to publish an online auction on Facebook to earn one million dollars or more.
Since we wanted her top art to be available to everyone, we started with a low offer to begin the bidding with; a starting price of only $999. People started to comment. An anonymous acquaintance of fine art wrote that Aura’s painting was much better. Her color contrast was much more expressive.
There were a few offers on our Facebook auction, but unfortunately, none offered money. They mostly offered pajamas, gummy bears and used toys in exchange for the masterpiece. In the end, Aura decided to take the gummy bears.
“The history of art hasn’t seen such an injustice since Van Gogh,” I said to my husband. “Our Aura has already created such a painting in her oral stage of development.” My husband, who seems much more likely to accept such injustices, winked and said, “Life is just like that. Some get millions, some get gummy bears.” Since then, I have kept all her drawings — just in case.