Sunday, July 17, 2016

On Becoming an Artist

People in creative endeavors are often asked if they've always been artistic.

Years ago my 7th grade class was assigned the task of creating a painting, with the addition of a story or poem to round out the project. The details escape me; I was a determined out-the-window-starer and it was not unusual for me to miss the fine points.

Prang Oval 8’s appeared and I went to work. My only memory of the written half of the assignment was that the movement of pigment on paper inspired me to write something about “…watercolor skies…” I’m sure it was earnest and sappy. And then I promptly forgot about the whole thing, windows nearby grabbing my attention with interesting shapes and shadows.

Weeks later our teacher smiled and moved slowly to my desk, a packet in her hand. Not used to being singled out, my thoughts were something like “Why you lookin’ at me like that?” Excuses began to form quickly in the back of my panicked brain.

“Congratulations,” She said smoothly. “We’re proud of you!”

There in the packet was my painting, the poem, and a purple ribbon.  Seeing the painting now, I have the feeling the poem carried the day.

Watercolor Skies 11x14 watercolor

On that day I became an artist. Eleventy-hundred years later I’m still painting. I’m still staring out windows, too. My poetry has slipped by the wayside, having peaked in 7th grade. 


deb said...

I didn't realize that's what sparked your imagination! Always enjoy your posts! Keep up the great work

Patty said...

Thanks for your kind comment. And here you thought I was staring out
the window doing math and calculus!