MASTER WILLIAM STONE

Portrait of Master William Stone

Oil on canvas, 32 x 24 inches, 1998

Richard and William

Richard and William

The Children’s Society wanted to stage an exhibition of my work at Westwood Park in Colchester. An exhibition of some thirty-five pictures was brought together. It was agreed that I should paint a portrait of my then four-year-old son as a centrepiece to the show. William reluctantly agreed, and a portrait was sketched out.

The Sunday Express newspaper was interested in publishing an exclusive photograph, in return for a substantial donation to the Children’s Society. William however refused to wear the much-hated sailor suit for the photo-call. Persuasion was not productive. Bribery was the last resort. A ‘super-soaker’ was the price to be paid. All parties were happy, and a wonderful photograph appeared in the weekend editions.

But we were ill prepared for the TV companies wanting to repeat the exercise. The dreaded sailor suit was brought out again from the dressing-up box. Hard bargaining ensued. It cost me a trip to California for a special visit to Grandma. Happy days!