As a young child I had always dreamed of putting a pencil in my hand and
being able to create a masterpiece on paper with little or no effort at all. I
always believed that being able to draw is a talent and I must be born with
it. Living in a home with artistic parents has always made me think that I must
have been adopted.
The day of my mom’s 31st birthday, I was ten years old. I had decided I was going to surprise her and I drew a portrait for her; I stayed up until midnight under the covers with a flashlight and a No.2 pencil. I drew peanuts for eyes and I drew a mouth in the shape of an apple; it was hideous and it made me cry because I thought it was so ugly. I brought the art work to her and said, “Happy birthday mom I’m sorry it’s so bad.” To which she replied, “There is no such thing as bad art work. Everyone is an artist of some kind. And your particular piece is an abstract work of art.” To this day she still has my “abstract work of art” that she shares with her students. I now believe anyone can be an artist. Whether it’s just a line or a circle, drawing is considered art and everyone can do it.
Working as a substitute art teacher, I have children who always want me either to do the art work for them, or to listen to them complain that they can’t draw. I have developed a favorite activity that I borrowed from my mom while watching her teach a third-grade class. I start by asking my students what their favorite hobby is and I make everyone put down their pencils. The students then close their eyes and use their imagination I ask, “Are there lots of colors? Are there lots of shapes? Now open your eyes and draw a line or a circle and then take it from there.” If they can only draw a line or only a circle, they still are artists in my eyes.
To this day I still believe in what my mom taught me: everyone is an artist in some way or another. Old or young, big or small anyone can take a pencil and create a masterpiece.
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