The Colour Chart

A New Artistic Family Arrives In Town, Much To Javon’s Delight!

Summer, Year 4
Bill studied the canvas thoughtfully. Something didn’t seem quite right but he couldn’t put his finger on it completely.
The family had recently moved to Windenburg, to the countryside. They’d bought a beautiful house in Winslar and it was finally beginning to feel like home. Bill had set himself up a corner of the living room for his art and he still wasn’t sure it felt right. He really needed a proper studio to work in.

As always, his work was interrupted by the doorbell.
“I’ll get it, love,” Eve called out. She was greeted by a young couple on the doorstep, who introduced themselves as their neighbours. Eve took Isabella through to the study to chat.
“So are you an artist?” Eve asked.
Isabella shook her head. “No, I’m a writer. My husband’s an artist; quite a successful one too. He’s been having exhibitions and sales at the gallery in Del Sol Valley.”
“Oh, I see. I paint but mostly for fun. I never seem to make much money from it,” Eve said dreamily. “Bill does though. He takes his art very seriously.”
“Any children?” Isabella asked.
“Yes. Caddy’s eighteen and applying for University now. She wants to be a vet, bless her. Then there’s Saffy. Very clever, our Saffy. She’s sixteen and gets all the boys, bless her. Indigo’s the only boy. He’s only fourteen but he’s a big music fan. Finally we have Rose. She’s nine but she’s an artist in her own right. Very talented.” Eve sighed contentedly. “What about you?”
Isabella smiled. “Mine are only little. Ronan’s two and Caitriona’s only a baby.”
Sighing, Isabella forced another smile onto her face. “Not that I’ve noticed so far, no.”

“It’s lovely to meet other artists, at last!” Javon said. “I’m trying to form an Artist’s Guild but it’s been impossible so far.”
“I’d be glad to join. I just find the lack of a decent studio very frustrating and limiting for my work.” Bill scowled. “There still doesn’t seem to be enough space in this house!”
“Maybe it’s the environment,” Javon ventured. “I mean, it needs to feel inspiring, doesn’t it? You can’t force art but you need inspirational surroundings for the art to work.”
“Very true. So how do you manage? You said you’ve got two young children and two dogs, so how do you find the inspiration?” Bill asked, sipping his coffee.
“I get out into the world. I paint landscapes mostly these days. I did a decent exhibition on snowscapes a while ago and for those, I went out into Windenburg; the old town, the modern part of town by the harbour. It was very atmospheric.”
“I don’t really do landscapes much,” Bill mused.
“There’s some space upstairs at the Rising Sun gallery in Del Sol Valley,” Javon said suddenly. “It’s peaceful because it’s off limits to visitors. We could work out some space for you there.”
Bill smiled properly for the first time that day. “Now that is worth looking into!”

Rose heard strange voices downstairs. She didn’t like strangers much; they were often weird and she didn’t like weird people. She didn’t like moving house either; she didn’t know anybody in this new town and she didn’t want to go to school here either.
So she hid inside the cupboard in her parents’ bedroom. It seemed the safer option.

“This cake is delicious.” Caddy breathed in the wonderful smell of the chocolate cake. Her eighteenth birthday the day before had been a quiet affair, going mostly unnoticed among the family until Saffron had pointed out later in the day that Caddy’s cake still hadn’t been made. So Saffy had made it herself.
“It is. You did a wonderful job, Saffy!” Eve beamed at her family.
From the kitchen, Saffy grinned and rolled her eyes. She was more interested in the guy at the table. Indigo had met him in town a few days previously and invited him back to the house, where Eve had insisted he joined them and had some cake. Coming from a large family where cake tended to disappear rather fast, Emilio had been only too happy to accept.
Emilio couldn’t help keep looking at one member of the family in particular. There was something peculiar going on in his stomach and if it was what he thought it was, his life was about to change.

That evening, Caddy slipped into the office. She was due to hear back from the university any day now about her application. She was hoping to study Biology to become a vet; she’d love to open her own practice in Windenburg somewhere. The thought of caring for all the adorable animals made her heart grow with pride.
Her stomach dropped when she saw the words “I’m sorry…” at the top of the email.

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