October 04, 2008
Art School Reject
This is my "art project." And I said don't laugh! Let me just point out the obvious: I am not an artist and I certainly do not draw or paint on a regular basis. But last night, for some reason, I had the urge to paint a pelican (yes that's what that is). And being that most everything I own is currently locked away in a creepy 10x10 crime scene waiting to happen, I had to settle for doing it on the back of a manilla envelope. I have no idea why or how I did it.
When I was in high shool, I took art for three years. I mostly did photography and that's actually something I'm pretty good at (don't judge by the blog, all photos are taken with my phone these days) and I enjoyed it but I mostly did it because it was an easy A and a chance to roam the school grounds and do nothing for an hour. But on the rare occasion I decided to paint, draw, sculpt, etc...well, let's just say my art teacher was not amused. I liked my art teacher but she didn't really have time for those of us who, well, sucked. She spent most of the day in her own little world, very spacey and the butt of many jokes, but everyone seemed to like her anyway. She didn't talk much and she never really got excited...at least not about my work.
I remember once I drew a picture and you could actually tell it was a picture of two people vs some sort of eight legged animal. I showed it to her and she said, "YOU drew this?"
"Yes, I did," I replied, proud of my work.
"Come look at this!" she said to a few of my advanced classmates who were all too aware of my lack of artistic talents. It was a shining moment.
A few people came to look, "That's great!" they all said, taking turns to look at it. I was thrilled, let's face it, by the time you're in your third year of a voluntary art class, it's expected that you're actually good at it. I was finally earning the teacher's respect, maybe I wasn't just going to be the girl who sucked at art. Or so I thought.
Suddenly, she says to me, "You know, this shows you may actually have some potential! I'm so proud of you, Jenny!"
Fast forward to when I was a few years out of school, in college, and working in a fine retail establishment with this guy I had the biggest crush on. He was older, going to art school, huge liberal, and so not my type. As a matter of fact, had he been a little more motivated about life, I'm willing to bet you we would have seen him on TV outside the RNC, laying on the ground pretending to be a dead soldier, but that's neither here nor there. At the time, I was smitten and we both found our political arguments "cute."
So, at one point I'm trying everything I can to get this guy's attention and that includes pretending that his (and a lot of) artwork doesn't bore me to tears. Well, one day the old art teacher walks in and my mind began working a million miles a minute. This is my moment to prove to him that I am indeed artsy. Art teacher approaches art boy and I, and I run up and practially knock her over with a hug.
"Mrs. C!!! It's so great to see you again, how have you been? Are you still at the school? Art boy, meet one of my favorite teachers, my HS art teacher, Mrs. C. She was so influential in my creative life." (Had to put those acting classes to good use somewhere!)
"That's so kind of you to say, what are you doing with your life now?" she asks, a bit surprised.
I gave her my spill.
"That's great!" she says. And after a long, painful silence, "I actually ordered something and I need to pick it up."
"I'll get it for you, Mrs. C." I bounced over to pick up her order, leaving her alone with art boy.
Before I'm even out of earshot, I hear the teacher whisper, "Son, could you tell me her name? I'm not 100% sure I know who she is."
"That's Sarah," he answers.
"Sarah?" She thinks about it for a moment. "Hmmm, I could have sworn her name was Jenny."