TS4 Blog: The Dixon-Phillips Family – ‘Abstract Simperialism’

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Tuesday afternoon found Anastasia doing her homework at the dining room table, she wanted to try and get on the honour roll at her new school as soon as possible. In the sitting room, Antony was discussing his new position at the Town Hall with his mother Felicity. I couldn’t help laughing at the way they chatted happily, generally ignoring Astor, apart from when Felicity gave her daughter-in-law a disapproving look! I guess Felicity thought Astor could be doing more to help her husband’s career: like getting out and mingling with the ‘right’ kind of people.

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Meanwhile, Claudia reluctantly paid a visit to the local art gallery. Her teacher had set an assignment on ‘Simspirational Artists from the 21st Century’ and she needed to do some research. She’d arranged to meet her study-buddy there, neither of them seemed too enthusiastic about the idea.

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Claudia cheered up a bit once inside the gallery, her creative impulses couldn’t help but appreciate all the fine art. She even made her study pal Felix laugh at her ‘snobby art critic’ impression and found they actually got on quite well! Felix also had a love of art and a cheeky sense of humour. Claudia was relieved to find someone she could get on with in her new school.

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As she sat chatting with her new friend, Claudia spotted one of those snobby art types eying up an abstract painting. Giggling, she walked up next to the woman, and in her best ‘over-enthusiastic critic’ impression she gushed about the bold colours and unique perspective of the piece. Claudia had been messing around, but the woman eyed her carefully.

‘And what do you think of the artist’s other work?’ the woman purred questioningly.

Claudia recognised the tiger-like glint in the woman’s eyes (she’d seen it many times before when her grandmother knew Claudia had eaten all the cake and wanted to trick her into a confession). The woman was testing her. Well, Claudia would show her! She launched into a speech about abstract simperialism and adjunctive disfractioning of prismic colours (which she’d fortunately written an essay on at her previous school). The woman was impressed and introduced herself as Nancy Landgraab, businesswoman and art-dealer.

‘I could use a girl with your enthusiasm on my team.’ She said warmly, handing Claudia her business-card.

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It was late when Claudia got home and she was hungry, she found her Grandmother in the kitchen.

‘Hello, my dear. Sit down and I’ll make you some dinner.’ Felicity fussed around her beloved granddaughter. ‘How was the art gallery?’

‘Dusty,’ Claudia laughed, ‘but I actually really enjoyed it. The guy I’m paired with, Felix, seems fun and he’s very interested in photography.’

‘That’s nice, dear.’ Felicity said warmly as she poured the vegetables into the bowl.

‘And I met this business woman called Nancy Something. She was impressed with my knowledge of abstract simperialism and gave me her business card.’

Felicity turned her head slowly, ‘Was it Nancy Landgraab, by any chance?’

‘I think so. Why is she famous or something?’ Claudia laughed.

Felicity sat down next to her granddaughter and gave her a small smile, ‘Something like that, dear. I think you inherited my instinct to make the ‘right’ friends.’

Claudia ate her salad, wondering about the tiger-like woman she had befriended at the gallery. Felicity toyed with her fork, smiling as she thought what Nancy Landgraab could do for her son’s career in politics.

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