A painting by a talented British artist with Down’s Syndrome is getting pride of place in the royal nursery of baby Prince George.
Tazia Fawley, 43, donated the brightly-coloured work to Prince William and Kate as a personal gift to mark the arrival of their son.
She spent six months working on the painting which shows hot air balloons over Bristol’s famous Clifton Suspension Bridge and children’s favourite Rupert the Bear.
It was first spotted by the Heart and Sold charity which supports and showcases artists with Down’s Syndrome and they offered it to St James’s Palace.
To Tazia’s joy the royal couple said they were delighted to accept the 3ft x 1ft painting and sent her their best wishes.
Tazia, who has been painting for 14 years, said the acrylic on wood painting was worth around £2,000 – but she was happy to donate it free.
She said: “The painting is of the Bristol Balloon Festival and it’s one of my favourite pieces of work.
“I gave it to Kate and Wills as a present, because they seem like good people and they wanted to bring some colour into their son’s nursery.
“I’m so excited to know that my painting will be seen by the most famous baby in the world.”
Suzie Moffat from Heart and Sold said: “I contacted the palace before the Prince was born to see if they would like Tazia’s art for the baby’s nursery.
“I was thrilled when the Palace replied saying that they’d love the artwork so we sent it over to them.
“They were extremely positive towards the artwork and were very supportive of the charity which was brilliant.
“Kate and Wills even sent us a thank you note.
“It’s such a lovely piece, and Tazia is such a great artist.”
The letter sent to proud Tazia says: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge request to send best wishes to Suzie Moffat and Tazia Fawley for their generous gift.”
Tazia lives with her mum Gylda in Highbridge, Somerset and works from a studio in their back garden.
She added: “I mostly paint landscapes and seascapes because I find painting people a bit difficult.
“Animals and buildings are also hard. I struggle a bit with those too.
“But I love painting landscapes. The colours you can use are just phenomenal.
“I don’t really have any favourite artists, I just like painting what I like painting, and that’s about it.
“I’m not trying to copy anyone else, I paint because I love it and it makes me very happy.”
Tazia’s proud mum Gylda, 74, who is a sculptor, said: “It’s lovely that people like Taz’s work.
“A lot of people have said to me that her work is wonderful, and I really believe it.
“If a person with a Down’s Syndrome child sees her work, they can take a big positive from it.
“It can give them a much more positive outlook because their child may be able to do the same thing.
“When Taz was born, doctors dealt with Down’s children by telling parents what they limitations were.
“It was always what they can’t do, rather than now, where doctors tell parents what their child CAN do.
“Hopefully Taz’s work can change a few attitudes about what a dedicated person with Downs can do.”
Tazia often listens to pop music when she paints, because she says it helps her come up with brighter colour combinations.
She said: “When I was painting the prince’s painting, I was listening to a lot of Abba, Kylie and even Queen.
“Happy music makes happy paintings.
“I try to be quite positive and happy all the time, and not moody.
“I don’t see myself as a Down’s Syndrome artist, I see myself as an artist who just happens to have Down’s.”
Tazia’s first gallery show will take place at the Princess Theatre in Burnham-on-Sea in October, and some of her artwork can be bought from http://tazpaintings.wordpress.
What a lovely story!
Congratulations Tazia, you are an inspiration!