I was an artist once
Today was craft day at the Conti’s. We made gifts for my in law’s anniversary, my sister in law’s new house and AUNTIE CARLY! So I can’t speak more of that.
My Grandma in Minnesota sent us some old paint swatches in the mail. She thought I could do something crafty with them and involve Claire, too. I thought about it for a few days and this is what I came up with:
We used those paint swatches and glued them to an old cork board and then after sealing them on she painted the heck out of it. I painted the wood border, but other than that, this is all Claire. She loves to paint, and I love to show her how.
I use sounds to describe the movement a brush should make and so she mimics me saying, “Swooosh, swoosh, dab, dab, dab!” But as silly as I sound, she gets it and she likes it. So I’d say that my job is pretty easy.
I love art. When I was in high school, I guess you could say I was OK at it. When I was in 11th grade, I got dumped by my long time boyfriend. He went to college and I started to get distant, and well, you know how it goes. Any who, it really broke my heart so I came up with this as a remedy:
I had two people from my art class model and I took photos and then I drew it and shaded it. Shading was my forte. I couldn’t paint, I couldn’t use pastel, I couldn’t stipple. I guess you could say that anything involving color I pretty much couldn’t do. Except with printmaking. I could make a sweet t-shirt. I still wear my Jason Mraz one with pride!
In 8th grade I made my first shading:
In 9th grade, I entered it in the Autumn Leaf Festival (google it, it’s huge out here) Clarion County Art Show for high school students. I didn’t go to the award ceremony, I just figured I’d get an honorable mention or nothing at all. When I went to the library to see it on display, it sported a 3rd place award. I couldn’t believe it. I ran home and dragged my Mom there to see it. I still couldn’t believe it.
At school the following Monday, my art teacher said, “Congrats, but don’t expect it to happen again.”
Every year after that I’d enter a project and I got honorable mentions, but didn’t place. My senior year I entered the hands project (see above) and it won first place. This time, my art teacher didn’t even congratulate me. Nice. (Personally, I think he was bitter that I chose to join the Army instead of going to Governor’s School for the Arts during the summer after he pushed and pushed for my acceptance.)
So when I am having a bad day at work, I say to myself, You could have easily gone to art school, instead you chose this. Suck it up!
I’m so proud when I see how much Claire loves art and even though it may look like scribbles and dabs here and there, it’s art to me. And it’s beautiful.