The lush green meadow surrounding the stocky houses had sprung with flowers. The scene gave a striking contrast with the red of poppies, the green of the grass and the chest nutty brown of the houses. The sky was a clear blue with flights of birds . The sun shone bright, spreading its fatherly rays over the landscape with a radiating pulchritude. A young boy sat on the hill watching the scene with eager eyes. He looked around from his comfortable spot among the newly budding roses, their fragrance overwhelming his senses and then he want back to clean his paintbrush with the thawed water he had collected from a brook nearby. He put his paintbrush in the blood red pigment he had collected from the berries during the village school’s annual berry picking trip. This young boy was called George Oswald by all who knew him and also, the most talented painter of the valley. He had spent most of his fourteen years of life with his elderly grandmother, handing her chiseled bamboo sticks and watching her paint wonderful landscapes, English voyages, Indian Sultans and if nothing else, then the beloved clusters of trees that surrounded the village. He had fantasized at her drawings, marveled at her skill, learned her trade and had inherited her eye for colour and fine detail. He had made up his mind to work hard on his paintings at night and on his uncle’s strawberry farm during the day, sell the strawberries, earn his fair share of the money and one day, go to the city and open a large, beautiful art gallery where he would display his paintings and sell them to the rich landlords and the well gowned ladies. He had made up his mind to make a living out of his paintings.
Days went by and the paintings mounted up. He usually sat among the grandmas and the children of the valley who watched as he painted and kept a constant supply of candy apples and baked goods available for him whenever he felt hungry and full of stories whenever he felt tired or sullen at his mistakes.
During his lifetime, many events took place in the village. Once the Lord from the lowlands came to visit the village. Once, the renowned baker and the renowned seamstress of the village got married. Once his uncle’s funereal took place in the little strawberry farm. Once his younger brother Peter went to the city to try his pottery making techniques there and once a battle took place in the lowlands where many people from the village were recruited.
A man walked steadily on the footpath along the busy road, as the posh cars honked their horns. Far ahead the esplanade of the Thames was clearly visible. He wore a long black trench coat over his shirt and trousers and a hat which nearly covered his whole face. His hair was the colour of coal and his grey green eyes sparkled in the night. Under his coat was hidden a square package. One looking from afar could tell that he was making his way to the ‘Oswald Art Gallery’, the most famous and marvelous art gallery in all of nineteenth century London, often visited by the prime minister himself. Soon the young man reached the brightly lit gallery and made his way to the head office.
“Oh! Hello, Mr. Oswald! How do you do?” Said the elderly man from behind the desk as he rose to greet his visitor. “Brought another one have you? Let’s see!”
He exclaimed as the man took out the square package from under his coat and removed his hat. It was indeed a beautiful picture, with the sun shining its fatherly rays on the landscape, the poppies in blood red and the small stocky houses in chestnut brown.
“What a master piece!” “Come Mr. Oswald you must take a stroll around the place, why you founded this place and you never stay to take a look at its immense success!”
“No I really must get going” Replied the man as he put his hat back on.” And if you must know, this really isn’t about me, if only George hadn’t died in that bloody war, I assure you the real founder would come a visiting very often, I on the other hand would feel like an intruder, for you see, I’m just trying to keep his dream alive, doing my duty! And please, for future, call me Peter.”
With that the young man went, leaving the peaceful orange autumn leaves in a disturbed state as his boots crunched them and a wet fog closed in on the gallery, the art of whom it hosted was truly great.