I believe that any one with a special gift must develop and cherish that gift and share it with others especially young people.
I was blessed with a gift to draw at a very young age. I wanted to be an artist. I studied with well known artists. I was always drawing and seeking ways to enrich the gift I was given.
As a teenager I gathered the young children in my neighborhood and gave them lessons in my back yard. My grandfather made benches and tables for the children. I loved art and enjoyed teaching others to enjoy it as well.
I became an art teacher and an art therapist. I exhibited in galleries and museums.
I taught every age from preschool to the nursing home. I worked with mental patients and autistic children. I could always engage my students in art materials. I taught painting, sculpture, stain glass, ceramics,and weaving. I would learn a new craft just so I could teach it to my students. In my private studio I work with wood, a material that I have cherished all my working years as an artist.
Beside my teaching in schools and institutions, any time a child visits my home I engage them in art. I give them clay, paint and odd materials to create with. My own children, my neice and nephews and visiting friends are always receptive to my offers.
Now those children have children of their own. They remember with fondness the many art projects they did in their visits to my studio/home, and have asked me to work with their children. I could not be more pleased and delighted to respond.
I live in a broenstone house in Brooklyn with seven other familes. Four of the families have young children and asked me to give them lessons. I no longer teach formally and now work full time as an artist but I could not refuse their request.. The children came to my studio once a week. Since I work with wood I had a rule they could not come in slippers. This went on for a few years till the children began to get to much home work and could no longer come.
One family had a child waiting to grow up so she could come to my studio like her sister did. I did not want to interrup my work to give her a weekly lesson but I told her if she knocks on my door and I was not busy I would set aside a place for her to work. Camille accepts when I so no to her because she can come another time. I am so happy to see her smiling face when she can work with me. I get love notes , drawings and great hugs whenever I see her. I love teaching art to children.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.