|"Detention" 14 x 19 Colored Pencil|
It's always been said that every artist must paint her own self-portrait, as a rite of passage, I suppose. I have never painted my own likeness. But I think that every piece I create is my self-portrait, in a way. This one especially reflects "me." Probably more so than if I'd painted a posed image of my own face and called it a self-portrait.
The boy in the drawing was my student in the last year I taught third grade. He's a lot like me in many ways.
I was that creative little kid that people would look at and scratch their heads about. I wasn't disruptive, I wasn't outwardly rebellious... but I had my own ideas about things, and sometimes pushed the limits of what was customary and expected. In kindergarten, when everybody else brought their seashells and Slinkies for Show-and-Tell, I had to bring my great big wooden dollhouse, or my goldfish bowl. (I hope I remembered to thank my mom for hauling all that stuff to school for me). I would also have bouts of homesickness and start to cry just a little, whereupon I would be invited to sit under the teachers desk, staring at her knees until I felt better. Why that should make a child feel better, I don't know. But it worked. I taught myself to read in kindergarten, and each year after that, I was the only kid in class who had to go up to the next grade for reading time, which I didn't like at all. I was just a little bit different from everybody else, and "fitting in" was always difficult for me.
The school days that I liked best were those when I could express myself in some way. Be it in the choir, band, art, writing, or any special assignments where I could let my imagination have free reign. I think most of you reading this blog can say the same about your own school days. That's why we find such fulfillment in our art, and why we feel the need to lose ourselves for a while each day, into some type of expressive, creative activity. We have a strong affiliation with all of the arts. We sing, we play instruments, we dance, we write... and we need to do those things as much as we need to breathe.
I like this line from the novel Mother Earth, Father Sky. It was spoken by a wise old man who carved mystical animals and people out of whale bones.
"I felt my head and heart would burst, if I could not release with my hands what my eyes had stored".