Last week I had the opportunity to talk to first and second graders at Hominy Valley Elementary School about being an artist. Whenever the Career Day letter comes home I am tempted to volunteer no matter how busy my schedule--I know I would have LOVED having an artist come to visit when I was that age. And let's not forget to mention the encouragement--or begging, I should say, from my daughter!
Although my calendar is packed tight it worked out for me to be there this year. Above is a photo of me speaking with my daughter's class...and that's my daughter Martha Grace beside me helping. Needless to say, she was happy I was there! (I love the proud look on her face!)
It was fun for me to share with the children and teachers. I told them about my lifelong love or art, studying art in college, and how I have been a professional artist in The River Arts District since 2008. I also showed them my materials and gave a small demonstration. The children were bursting with questions and things to share.
As we discussed how my subject is usually flowers one little boy very seriously asked if I've ever made a painting of bacon and eggs. Um....I cannot say that I have! But think about it--wouldn't that cause us to feel something unique? Perhaps the feeling isn't peace, which I like my viewers to feel, but laughter or even hunger. Don't kids say the darnedest things?!
Another little girl raised her hand and I could tell she really wanted to speak. "Do you have a question for me?" She replied,"No...but I wanted to tell you somethings. Yesterday was a very bad day for me. I went to time out a lot." Well bless her heart! We all have days that aren't much fun, don't we? This led to a great conversation about the kinds of calming things we can do when we are frustrated...and one of those things is to draw! Ah...the therapeutic qualities of creating. I was glad she brought that topic up!
The most uplifting part of the morning was hearing from a particularly bright second grader. He showed a great interest in my artwork and had perceptive comments. To my surprise he related each of the pieces to artists throughout history. It turns out he has a special love of art history. How rewarding it was for me to hear his comments after I explained my process. I spoke about how I like to draw a flower from various angles--that I like for my painting to feel more like the experience of looking at a flower: the light bouncing off of it at various places, the wind blowing it, our eyes moving around the flower, etc. He quickly shot us his hand. "You know, that is exactly what the cubists were doing! You are like Picasso!" Well there you go...me and Picasso! I'll take it!