My sister's child destroyed my painting - so I gave her the $4,700 bill

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

A women who issued her sister with a bill after her nephew ruined one of her paintings says the move has divided her family

In a post to Reddit, the woman, who describes herself as a "fairly successful artist", notes that the incident occurred during a New Year's Eve party that "Lucy" and "Ethan" both attended.

"I had a sign posted on my art studio saying "DO NOT ENTER" and specifically made it clear to all guests that nobody was to enter that room."

The woman adds that the party was supposed to be "adults only" but her sister was unable to find a babysitter for Ethan. "I also set up my boyfriend's PS4 for him to play on so he wouldn't be bored," she adds.

At 10pm, the woman heard a loud crash from her studio.  "I run up and see paint all over my recent work that so far had taken 15 hours to do."

Inside, she found her nephew laughing and "rubbing paint" into the canvas.

"It's now unsalvageable and I have to restart the work, as it was a specific request from a client," the woman notes.

And, because she has to start over, it will put her behind with the rest of her commissions. 

"I immediately asked Ethan and Lucy to leave, and the next day I sent her a bill for the work,' the woman continues , adding that at  £2500 ($4,725), it's lower than she would have received for the art.

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But doing so has divided the family. "She's absolutely screaming about it," the woman writes. "My mum hates me, my dad completely agrees with me."

Her brother-in-law also agrees. 

Redditors overwhelming took the artist's side.

"It was already an issue that she brought her kid, but you were understanding about that," one person wrote. "The least she could've done was watch her damn kid while there and respected your wishes of no one going in there. When you bring kids to an adult party it's your responsibility to watch them, not the host or other guests unless other kids are involved."

"Nine years old is PLENTY old enough to know better," said another. "This wasn't some toddler accidently ruining something. This was willful against someone else's property."

When others asked about the price tag, the artist noted that it was "based on a few things".

"I will have to redo the painting as it was for a client. All the other items destroyed. (The acrylics fell and he squirted them out. Very expensive acrylics!) The other time it will take me to redo the work (it was maybe 1/3 the way done). I will be receiving around £6000 ($11,343) for the work.

Some, however, suggested that there was a "glaring precaution she failed to take."

"If I was commissioning art pieces for thousands of pounds, I'd definitely pay to have a lock installed on the door of the studio."

The angry aunt finished her post with a candid admission:

"I will admittedly say, I don't enjoy kids. Or their company. But I've always been a great auntie, presents at Christmas, gifts from vacation, everything he's wanted. "