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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I spent a lot of time on it. Carefully shaping and moulding it. Allowing the mushy clay to take shape. After the necessary time in the kiln, I selected colours that I was surprised to find were radically different when the glaze dried.

“What. Is. That.” asked my kindergarten teacher.

[Never, NEVER ask a child “what is that?”.]

“It’s an alligator,” I replied, thinking that the long stout should have been a dead giveaway.

Something about her non-verbal language made it clear that what I had created bore little observable correlation with any member of the family Alligatoridae.

I went straight home and threw my alligator into my closet with all my might. The stout broke off. Never again would I approach an artistic endeavour with carefree joy.

So you can imagine how delighted I was to learn that group painting was the staff opening activity was at camp last night.

“You look a bit apprehensive,” observed the art specialist.

“Oh no. It’s nausea. You’ve mistaken it for apprehension. Happens all the time.”

She chuckled. “I believe that everyone is an artist. Tell me your favourite colours and I’ll get them for you.”

“No, I’m OK thanks. I think I’ll just watch.”

“You will create something beautiful. See what the others have done? Don’t you think it’s beautiful?”

Well that was a loaded question because I wouldn’t have chosen the word ‘beautiful’ for the hodgepodge of colours and designs. I mumbled something I hoped would be taken as positive validation.

“Here you go. Now just push the paint around. I really believe that everyone is an artist.”

She said this with such ease and such conviction that I knew it was something that she had said to many a reluctant camper. And I also knew that she really believed it to be true.

But I don’t. Because I’m not. After “pushing” the paint around the tapestry, it was clear that my artistic talents lie elsewhere. Like the home bang trim that gets worse and not better the more one tries to even out things, it was time to stop before my little section of the staff tapestry became quite the eyesore.

“How are you feeling now?” she asked.

“I really need to find my Imitrex,” I responded, leaving as quickly as I could before she had a chance to see evidence of my “talent.”

And the alligator? Like the broken tablets in the portable ark, the broken alligator sits on the desk in my study as a reminder.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 12 August 2008 6:04 pm

    So you’re working at camp for a couple weeks?

    And I have to concur with the art teacher. Anyone can do art, it’s just finding the art that suits you.

    You’re at camp, try lanyards 🙂

  2. Tuesday, 12 August 2008 6:31 pm

    Hey Rebecca,
    I know exactly what you mean. I’m no artist either. My friends scrapbook all of the time and I cry every time I try it. And when someone puts a blank page in front of me and asks me to create something – I just see a blank page. The pressure makes me nauseous too! Some of us were just not meant to be artists.

    We can be creative in many other ways – and we are. 🙂
    Not to worry, my friend. We have other canvases to paint with brilliant colors!

  3. Tuesday, 12 August 2008 7:10 pm

    train up a child in the way in which she should go….

    such a reminder for how we teach children with so many of our words….

    glad to hear you’re able to blog from camp, that is a good sign! hang in there….

  4. Tuesday, 12 August 2008 8:43 pm

    p.s. see this post:
    it definitely fit with yours…

  5. Friday, 15 August 2008 10:54 am

    I don’t think there would be any disagreement that your teacher was very unhelpful to say that in any event. However, seeing the object in question, which I have, it was a dumb question because it was obviously either a crocodile or alligator. Even without the snout, I could tell that.


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