Saturday, December 17, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

With the new Harry Potter movie out, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them", it made me think of a painting I did a number of years ago.

Lots of people ask me why do I paint what I paint or how do I decide what to paint.  Each painting has it's own reason, but I think "Harry Potter's Bookshelf" has a good story. 
Harry Potter's Bookshelf
painting by Jane McElvany Coonce
When my son, Kevin, was in elementary school, he was a non reader.  He hated to read, and it was difficult for him.  So I bought the first Harry Potter book, and each night, I would read a chapter to him before he went to bed.  If you haven't read it, it is a book that draws you in.  It's funny, it's scary, you fall in love with some of the characters and you hate some of them.  You become totally involved in the story.  Every night, Kevin would sit next to me in bed as I read.  When we got to the scary parts, he would snuggle even closer.  It was a very special time for both of us.  At the end of the book, he was so excited!  "READ IT AGAIN!" he screamed.  I calmly handed him the book and said, "No, you read it.  It's your book now." From that day on, he began to read.  He read all of the Harry Potter books (I think there are 7 of them), and when he finished, he read them again.  
The author J.K. Rowling changed Kevin's life when she wrote the Harry Potter series.  He's an avid reader now. 
As an adult, he's in 2 book clubs.  I did this painting for Kevin because of the importance that the Harry Potter books played in his life. I know he will cherish it long after I'm gone, and for me, it was a labor of love.

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