OMG! as I believe the young would have it. What a night! Yesterday evening, various members of staff escorted James W up to London to a private view of the 20 finalists in the Daily Telegraph School Art Prize at the Saatchi Gallery. These 20 were chosen out of 12,000 entries from around the world, so to have his picture hanging in the gallery was an incredible achievement in itself.

James with his painting at the Saatchi Gallery

I am a philistine when it comes to art and wouldn’t recognise a good picture or some nifty artwork at any distance, but looking around the room, I didn’t think James had a prayer. He was, after all, competing against 17 and 18 year old finalists, some already at art college.

After an hour of wandering around the collection, trying to work out why someone would want, or need, to paint a pig’s head on top of a snowball, the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph took the floor to introduce the Big Cheese from Deutsche Bank whose job it was to hand over the cash to the winners.

Well, you won’t believe what happened next.

1st runner up…..James! Second place out of 12,000 entries!! CHARTERHOUSE SIT UP AND TAKE NOTE! The boy wonder is an artisitic genius. As the announcement was made, the place erupted. Mrs. Lyddon dissolved. Mrs. Rees started dancing; the Saatchi gallery had never seen anything like it before. James’s parents were there, as was his granny who had come all the way up from Wales to be there for the evening. It was perfect….

Once order had been restored, a couple of other prizes were awarded to the winner and second runner up, but James could not stop smiling – he said that he had never smiled so much and that it was actually beginning to hurt! I’d imagine that he’s still smiling now.

Once James had been congratulated by all the judges and most of the assembled crowd, the staff left him with his parents and granny, and slipped quietly away for a celebratory pizza.

We are all so proud of him….

Prize? Oh yes, I nearly forgot….

James’s picture won 5 large for the Woodcote Art Department and he also pocketed a grand for himself!

Not bad for a day’s work.

That is all.