Tate Kids


Alfred Wallis, Schooner under the Moon, ?circa 1935-6

Alfred Wallis was a fisherman and didn’t start painting until he was in his 60s. His wife had died and to relieve his loneliness he began to paint using old house-paints, boat-paints and yacht varnish onto odd bits of driftwood and cardboard. His paintings were about his life at sea and the place where he lived – St Ives. He wasn’t schooled and never trained as an artist so his paintings are very child-like.

This painting shows an old ship sailing on a very stormy night. The ship is climbing a massive wave. He has painted the sea brown! This might not be your first choice if you were painting the sea but remember Alfred Wallis was a fisherman and may have been on this ship – try and imagine what it must have been like for him.

For your story you could think about where this ship is going, where it has come from, and what cargo it is carrying. Who could be onboard? Pirates maybe? Or tired fishermen on their way home with a great catch of mackerel.

17 stories about “Alfred Wallis, Schooner under the Moon, ?circa 1935-6”

  1. Shana, age 9, from United Kingdom

    One day, a poor boy named jack lived in a cottage far, far away. He always did what his mum and dad told him to so he had lots of friends and was as kind as a bird. But, one day as jack was delivering milk to the village nearby, a man tripped him up and he dropped all his milk but most of all, jack got the blame.
    “jack!!!!!!!” shouted mum.
    ” you just lost us our money!!”
    “i am sorry mum but..” before jack could say more, mum interupted.
    “no, no buts get to bed!!”
    Jack was heartbroken. He didn’t do anything. And when he went to school he had no friends to play with.
    When jack came home from school, mum and dad were really kind to him! jack then got a chance to tell them it was that mans fault.
    ” we are sorry darling” said mum. “you shouold of said before!”
    “but i did!” said jack.
    “but you said no buts get to bed !”
    “ok, there you go, oh fine don’t belive me and don’t even care about me cause i’m leaving to go to stevens house!!” shreiked jack.
    “wait!” said dad.
    “we never new that that man tripped you up and cause we never listened to you, and i asked stevens mother and she said we could go to america with her!” said dad.
    “whooooooooooooooopieeeeeeeeeee!” said jack.
    “well don’t sit in ya chair and wait lets get on that plane!”
    So, the story ends here, they lived happily ever after in america!

  2. aw/ej/mb/ha, age 9, from UK

    I was in a boat (ship) and all of the waves were shooting up into our ship. I was so skared all I wanted to do was go home! suddenly I heard these funny noises! I went under the boat and it was freezing I saw someone move the bags! I screemed as loud as I could! my friends heard me,I rushed up stairs I told my friends “I saw some thing move and I saw someone move the bags “A headless sk elington came on boad with a axe but matt finds a chainsaw and thay sward fight and the headless skelington goes over bord! But then that night harry hears something so he sees if the t.v is on and it is! “skelington on bord “matt and harry shouted mat fights and throughs him over bord! And thay celabrate!

  3. Amy, age 9, from England

    One stormy day a strange shape was sailing in the sea.
    I was fishing with my dad when it suddenly came through us. Two skeletons jumped out their ship and onto ours. They took a cod each and shouted “ON GUARD” and knocked my dad over board. I had to give my dad a fishing rod so I could wheel him back up.

  4. Adam, age 8, from UK

    One day a man was on his ship then he suddenly heard a big bang. He looked through his telescope because it was misty and dark, covered ship, coming out of the mist. He saw ship coming closer and closer…
    Suddenly the ship pulled up next to his ship. A skeleton jump on board! it seemed to be speaking but he couldn’t understand. The skeleton walked towards the man raioing an axe above his head. The man jumped out of the way. The skeleton dropped the axe and died.

  5. b,l,k,s, age 9, from UK

    One sunny day there were four girls called Bryony, her little sister Lucy, Shana and Kayleigh. On bryony’s nineteenth birthday her dad said “You can go to America with your friends.” But there was one thing that Bryony hated was that her sister had to go with her. Her dad said that she could go on his old boat. Once they got on the boat Bryo asked her friends “Do any of you know how to stear a boat?”
    “NO!!!” shouted kayleigh and Shana.
    “Kayleigh you stear” said Bryony.
    “Erm… ok” hesitated kayleigh.
    They set off with kayleigh stearing the boat. Lucy saw somthing poking out of the sea. It was a bottle. She jumped into the sea with her sister following. Kayleigh was having a panic attack at this point! Shana grabbed them all slipping down the boat with all the oil slid to one side making the boat sink!
    “How heavy are you lot!” screamed Shana.
    “Just shut up and pass me the life jacket!” said Bryony
    “Use it for your little sister, not you, she is drowning!” said Shana. “So dont worry about your hair!”
    At this point they were all drowning exept for Shana, she was shouting! “get on the boat!” said Shana.
    they eventully all got on the boat. But they never got to America And then lucy said sniffiling,
    “I never got my bottle” But the year after they tried again!!!

  6. Aldous, age 4, from England

    the ship was going to London from Africa. On board was special african person called Letitia. Who was coming to London bringing African Treasure for aldous and clara.

  7. Claire Lawson, age 11, from Scotland

    One night a sailor sat on the deck of his ship under the moon. He stared out over the waves and thought about the voyage. The rest of the crew were all sleeping in their beds, exhausted by the day. The purpose of the ship’s trip was to sail the seas and explore new lands. He sighed. Every day he missed his family, but the thought of not sailing also depressed him.
    Suddenly, he saw a speck on the horizon, growing larger at an astonishing speed. It was a blue boat that was being carried along by a giant wave. On the strange boat were creatures whose skin and hair were blue, and they laughed in high voices that sounded like water over rocks. The wave and boat then reached the ship and the last thing the sailor remembered was a wall of water coming towards him.
    He awoke, drifting far out at sea, hungry, soaked and scared. How would he find land in this remote sea? Then, he remembered his Charm-stone. It was a squarish piece of rock with the picture of a boat on it. He held it tight in his hand, wishing it would somehow help him. There was a sudden WHOOOOSH and the sailor was sucked into a whirlpool. He awoke on the shore of his hometown and stumbled back to his house. It wasn’t till he was at the door until he noticed his Charm-stone was gone. He shrugged, went inside and lived his life happily, praying everyday to the magic that had saved his life.
    Far away in a different world…
    Alfred Wallis woke up from a deep sleep. In his mind a picture had flashed into existence. It had come from no-where! Alfred Wallis got up and began to paint. He did not know the picture was from another world. The Charm-stone had planted the seed of a picture in someone’s mind.

  8. William Suther, age 11, from England

    It was a dark, gusty night and the the storm raged on. Alfred, the captain was strugling not to be blown off the deck, let alone steer the great, wooden beast. Suddenly a shout came from somewherwe ahead of him:
    “A great squid is coming!”
    “Bring out the harpoon!”
    The massive rifle was shot and the bolt speared through it’s heart. Just then the storm ceased. They could ride safely again

  9. Charlote Hicks, age 10, from England

    I always wanted to be a pirate, to sail the seas and oceans of the world. Well here I am in the middle of the red sea, a pirate. Well not exactly a pirate, i’m on a fishing trip with my dad, but I just know there will be some excitment I can feel it in my bones.

    Little Tommy was right there was an adventure, not just any adventure a great big one.(Later on that night).

    Tommy, Tommy come quickly. Look over the edge of the boat whisperd the cabin boy.
    What is it?
    I don’t know, it looks like a….a…fish type shark!
    Help me Tommy the fish moaned.
    Lift me on board the boat, and get the medical doctor to sort out my injurys.

    There you go fish your better now.
    Put me back in the sea please .
    You have one wish Tommy use it wisely.
    I will and goodbye!

    Tommy did use his wish wisely because he wished for the world to have peace forever!

  10. Freya Wilson, age 6, from UK

    One day there was a group of fishermen, who set to sea to explore the sights of the world. But then a storm started up and they were lost! They cried for help, but no-one came to their rescue. The storm went on for a long time – it lasted a few days – and they had no idea where they were so they were stuck and they hadn’t brought a map, but even if they had a map, they couldn’t have found their way home because the storm was so violent. It was getting darker and darker by the minute. “We must find our way home,” one of the fishermen said. “I agree,” said another. But the storm went on. But finally, one day, they found a bottle. Inside was a map of their country. The storm stopped that day and, with the map, they found their way home.

  11. Cora Wilson, age 5, from England

    One day there was an old ship. No-one had ever gone there for a hundred years – because it looks old. One day someone looked at the poor old ship. They thought they should sail in it. When everyone else saw what the other person was doing, everyone came from town to town and place to place all over the country to go in the boat. Suddenly the ship started to sink. Everybody floated out of the ship and there was a very small hole that everyone fell through and they went tumbling down into the sea. Everybody thought they would never be able to get home. It was gettnig darker and darker and darker. The sky started to go black and the ships started to collapse. (All of the other ships). Except the ship that was left in the water looking like it was going to collapse but it didn’t. Suddenly a shark came out of the water and everybody thought that it would eat them. They started attacking the shark and the shark started attacking them. Suddenly the shark was dead. The ship barged at the shark – they thought it could be a magic ship. Suddenly the ship turned into how it had been before and then it could hold just that amount of people. Then the ship took them home to their place and they had lovely dreams about it. The End!

  12. Tiffany, age 12, from USA

    One day Captain Kibbles went fishing at Killer pond. “I got a fish, I got a fish!” said Captain Kibbles. As he was wheeling his rod in, he fell in the water and a shark ate him. Now the water got rough, the wind blew hard, and the clouds started to cry really hard. The boat started to race off in the water. When, CRASH! The boat went right into the island of Mystery. The boat has been sitting there for 35 years. On the day Captain Kibbles set out to fish a guy named Lexington found the boat, and he too went fishing with it. Lexington was fishing when he to caught a fish, fell in and got eaten by a shark! 35 years later a girl named Abigail found the boat and went fishing, same place and same time as Captain Kibbles and Lexington, nothing happened to her. People say she got lucky, but I think the shark and the boat don’t like boys.

  13. Jake, age 13, from USA

    As Jack looked across the sea, he was recalling why he was on this accursed quest. It all started when he heard about the legend of the dragon’s moon. The legend goes that when the 7 tribes of dragons: water, wind, fire, ice, earth, darkness, and life, send a person pure of heart from their land with a scale from the oldest and wisest dragons to the Valley of Gems, the heroes chant a spell to summon the dragon moon, which is a sole entity that recharges the dragon’s life force and hatches eggs of every tribe. Jack’s village helped the dragons with their quest but the dark dragon Arthon, attacked his village to prevent the moon so he can stay in power because he had a secret power source to keep him alive. Now Jack’s village fears the dragons and will not complete the needed ritual. Only 5 dragons survive in the other 5 tribes, yet the dragons of life have only one left. So now, Jack is on a quest that his great grandfather never completed because Arthon murdered him. Jack carries with him the scale of the last dragon of the life tribe. So now, Jack is on a quest to save them.

    “Land Ho!!!” shouted one of the crew. “Good, Jack grab your package and your provisions and get ready to shove o.” Captain John said as a blast shook the whole ship. “Aye, Captain we’ve sprung a leak!” a crewmember shouts. “Send the ship’s carpenters to the hole, and Jack, get to a safe place because the Arthen warriors are attacking with magic and we need to get you to safety, for the life tribe depends on you!” Captain John said. Just then, a battalion of warriors jumped on to the boat. “We’ll be taken the boy with the scale and we be off with little casualties,” a large man said with a cruel chuckle. “No you won’t be leaving with the boy, or will you be leaving this boat at all!” Captain John cried. “Oh, we’ll be leaving with the boy and for your insolence, you will all die!” the large man shouted with a maniacal laugh. Then the large man leaped and pulled a knife out and held it to the captain’s neck. “Now boy, come here and be quiet!” the large man shouted. Then a rage engulfed Jack and he shouted a word of magic. “ZARNAG!” just as he uttered that word a jolt of purple lightning flew at the large man. “Ahhhhhh” went the man as he plunged into the water.

    Then a warrior shouted, “Arthen!” So that was that man’s name. Then a shout could be heard all around, “RETREAT!” All the Arthen warriors leaped to their ship with inhuman strength. Everyone was silent for 5-10 minutes, but then the crew shouted, “HOORAY, FOR JACK!” “Jack, good job, thank you for saving me from that man,” Captain John said. “But, you need to get to the land and save the last of the tribe of life, and for your bravery I will give a special gift,” Then Captain John went into his cabin and came out with a green and blue swirling stone. “This is a dragon egg, it can only still hatch because it was laid during the last dragon moon and still has the moon’s power,” Captain John said. As he was handing the egg to Jack, it started to shake and the egg hatched into a small blue and green dragonlette. “What shall you name it?” the captain asked. “I will name him.Eldar,” Jack said and the dragonlet chirped with glee.

    As they got closer to land, Jack was wondering why him, why did the only dragon egg left to hatch was for him? He also wondered what tribe Eldar was from, so he went to go ask Captain John. “I have no clue but, I’ve heard the color of the scales identifies the tribe,” Captain John said. “Well he’s blue and green which means that he’s from three tribes, Water, Ice, and Earth, right?” Jack asked. “Yes and no, the blue is water yet water is also ice so in turn you are right and the green is earth,” Captain John said. “Does the color of the tribes mean any thing?” Jack asked. “Yes each color has a different power like blue has the power of water and ice and green has the power of the earth,” Captain John said. “So that means Eldar is powered by the elements of water, ice, and earth,” Jack said. “Yes, and he’s getting bigger!” Captain John said with a chuckle. And it was true, Eldar had grown from as small as Jack’s hand, now he was up to his shoulders in a few short days, he had also eaten the crew out of house and home.

    After a few days, the horizon was becoming more and more filled with land. The men on the ship got more anxious to be close to land. “Jack, get ready to come ashore, because we’ll be shoving off in an hour,” one of the crew members said. “Oh, and can you show me how you did that magic trick?” And for the first time Jack asked himself the same question, how did he do that trick? “Captain John, who will be coming with me?” Jack asked. “The whole crew will escort you to a house on the west of our landing point, and from there some warriors and I will bring you to the Valley of Gems,” Captain John said. So as they landed Jack wondered what he had gotten himself into?

  14. Angel, age 13, from USA

    Troy the sailor was about to set sail. “Waite!” shouted Clear his wife, “Don’t forget to cleans your selves for safety!” “That’s just an old fisherman’s tale to scare us sailors,” Troy claims as they all ready pulled away from the dock. Later on their way home with a full catch of fish, a storm came and they lost all of there fish and half the crew; and every day after that he always cleansed him self.

  15. Alyssa, age 13, from USA

    It was a beautiful day, and the captain and his crew were on their way on their pirate-like boat. The ocean was clear like a crystal. The birds would glide along the endless sky, and there was a cool wind that blew just enough to make you feel like you were in heaven. In fact, it was so beautiful that for just one moment, the captain felt like he was dreaming. It was like the feeling of magic that soaks into you and remains there until you can’t feel it anymore. Everything was perfect except for one dark cloud. But that didn’t worry the crew; they just sailed on. Many hours passed, and the small cloud started to grow larger. Not only that, but there were more dark clouds forming. Then it started to rain, and the breath of wind that the captain had embraced, started to become huge gusts. The water was also getting extremely rough, and the crew was toppling and falling as the boat rocked back and forth. Suddenly a mammoth wave the size of Mt. Everest appeared. It came down and crashed over the boat sending it far across the sea. It soon passed, leaving the crew breathless. Then a figure was coming– a figure that looked like a shark! As the figure came closer, they saw that it was just a small cone. They chuckled to themselves, a nervous chuckle that sent shivers through them. Suddenly many big waves were coming, one after another, when suddenly one of them knocked them into the water. The boat started to sink; they had no where to go! Then they saw something coming out of the fog. It was a ship! They waved their arms and screamed at the top of their lungs. The people on the other ship pulled the crew up to safety. When they awoke the next day, the sky was clear and they where home at last!

  16. Lantis, age 13, from China

    It a very wonderful picture. I love it very much. The colour are serene and suitable. It looks like a reason. And the moon on the picture is dim and beautiful. I am a Chinese girl, but I begin to love British culture now.

  17. Mathilda, age 12, from UK

    One day some saylas waer sayling on the 7 seas then a big storm came and the ship shact then the tiy tanick came and the pepole saved them then a big ice berg came and it hit the tiy tanick and the pepole didth the end.