John was lucky enough to have passed through all the examinations and now he had some rest. But he couldn’t spend a single day without doing something useful, he hated wasting time. That’s why he decided to visit the Newfield Gallery of Fine and Applied Arts on Monday or Tuesday. John was fond of painting himself, he took to it when he was 10, though still only a few of his works could be called “masterpieces” of an amateur artist. To tell the truth, he loved drawing more than oil painting and watercolour-painting. He had already taken up with several artists, who had told him that there was something about his works and patted him on the shoulder, saying that he could become a real artist. After such words John was all smiles.
John was thinking about it on his way to the Gallery. An aged woman was sitting in the bus next to him. She turned out to be a teacher from France, she was going to the same gallery as well. But the problem was she didn’t know English well enough, but John was ready to help her and having some practice in French could do him only good. He knew a lot about painters, especially about those, who dealt with landscape and seascape painting. He was also fond of still-life painting, and the gallery had a good selection of such pieces of art. No doubt that John could cope with the job of a guide there.
And le femme from France told him about her work at school. John listened to her carefully and didn’t practically interrupt their conversation. She was sure that children now developed more quickly than previous generations and consequently new effective approaches to their upbringing were to be found. But the most important thing for a teacher was to give a realistic picture of a child’s accomplishments. Among her other principles were not to exaggerate praise out of all proportions, but at the same there must be always direct praise of personality to encourage a pupil’s personal work. The teacher should also concentrate on a child’s strength and not his weakness. On the whole she seemed a friendly and not an authoritarian person, who could listen to children with understanding and sympathy. She was talking about many other important things, the lack of which John felt at his school: that the teacher should have no favourites, show much patience and have full faith in his pupils. But at the same time John took it in, that schools in France had no great differences from those in England.
They were through with this conversation, when the bus drove up to the Newfield Gallery. It was no ordinary building – it was constructed a couple of years ago in modern style. And the architects had done some constructive thinking to create such a masterpiece, which proved to be a new place of interest of the town.
They arrived on the day before the close of a new exhibition, that’s why there were not many people inside, and they could carefully examine all the pieces that were accepted for the show. It was quite obvious that Blanc, the impressionist from France, would be awarded the main prize, as his pictures were superb, though two of them were hung in an inconspicuous place. Having the prize was the lifetime dream of every commencing and mature artist.
John returned home only at 6 in the evening happy that he had seen so many wonderful pictures. He had no doubt that he would go there again and again.