Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Remain an Artist

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  -- Pablo Picasso

When I was little, I would follow my mom around the house with her old reporter’s notepads, interviewing her and taking down notes.  Then I’d write a summary of the interview in the notepad.  In the back of my dad’s closet, there’s half a dozen old reporter’s notepads full of my notes and summaries. 

Likely needing a break from my incessant questioning, my parents hired an artist from Hallmark to give me art lessons.  I sat at a glass table, drawing a cerulean fish and its shimmering scales with oil pastels.  
We went to an art supply store, and I got to pick out my own canvases on which to paint.  I penciled a portrait of myself and sketched body forms.  

My parents also enrolled me in an art camp at The Nelson-Atkins art museum.  I spent my afternoons in the cavernous basement of the museum painting, with classical music playing in the background.  One afternoon, the camp instructor told us “to paint to the music.”  She turned on Tchaikovsky’s, “The March.”  With its aggressive staccatos, the room was full of elementary school students gleefully stabbing their canvases with their paintbrushes.  I’d never had so much fun in my life.  


  1. this is lovely. I would love to read more of the summaries of what you wrote in the notepads!

    1. Thanks, lady! I wrote one about how my godsister and I became friends. Ha!


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