Editor’s Note: Dave Munday wrote about child artist Graydon McKoy in “10-year-old helps others with his art of nature,” published in Your Lowcountry on Jan. 12, 2012. We caught up with Graydon to see how things have been going since then and what he looks forward to this year.

By Jade McDuffie

jmcduffie@postandcourier.com

Eleven-year-old Graydon McKoy and his family will leave Saturday for another mission trip to Costa Rica.

This trip wasn’t funded by the Bank of Mom and Dad. Rather, Graydon paid for the trip with money earned from selling his artwork.

Graydon is home-schooled and lives on a farm on Wadmalaw Island. He’s always been in love with nature, which is the subject of most of his art.

“When he was a baby, he cried a lot. All I had to do was take him outside and he would stop crying,” his mother, Melissa McKoy, told The Post and Courier last year.

When the newspaper last spoke to Graydon, he had just sold $300 worth of note cards of his paintings to Grace United Methodist Church and customers at Not Just Fabrics on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.

Since then, Graydon has completed a collection of note cards for Charleston Tea Plantation and the Irvin-House Vineyards craft fairs.

“We’re hoping to make some contacts through Irvin-House Vineyards. So many people come through on Saturdays and we meet people locally and from other states. We’re hoping we might be able to get ideas from people we meet,” his mother said.

And McKoy found the art teacher she was looking for. Joan Body of Artists’ Loft School came forward after reading about him, and the pair worked together on Graydon’s painting for the Remember Niger organization titled “Niger River.” He entered this painting in a contest and was one of 10 students selected in his age group to have their work published in an anthology called “Celebrating Art,” and he received $25. There were more than 7,000 entries from the United States and Canada.

“Twenty-five dollars isn’t a lot, but the biggest thing was getting it published in a book,” McKoy said.

Graydon continues to sponsor a young man in Niger by paying for his schooling and is helping more people with the Remember Niger organization.

“I am able to help somebody else in their country with my art. It makes me feel good,” Graydon said.

He is still saving up money for playground equipment at his church, Rockville Presbyterian.

Graydon said he looks forward to meeting new people this year and plans to come back from Costa Rica with more ideas for his paintings.

For information on Graydon’s art, go to graydonscritters.com.

Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or jmcduffie@postandcourier.com.