The Art of Trees
Spring… only days away. I’m so grateful and honored that you choose my classes and that you trust me with your children’s artistic journey. I don’t take it lightly.
Over my years in this field, I’ve heard many times from adult students that they “loved art as a child but a teacher once told them that they didn’t do it right or had no artistic talent”.
Here’s where the "Art of Trees" lesson comes in. I remember reading this story long ago. It took me awhile to find it again. It’s a beautiful commentary on the teaching of art and I think of it often.
The story from Leo Buscaglia is this:
“[The art teacher] comes racing in from another class and has time only to nod to the teacher, turn around and say, “Boys and girls, today we are going to draw a tree.” She goes to the blackboard, and she draws her tree which is a great big green ball with a little brown base. Remember those lollipop trees? I never saw a tree that looked like that in my life, but she puts it up there, and she says, “All right, boys and girls, draw.” Everybody gets busy and draws.
If you have any sense, even at that early age, you realize that what she really wanted was for you to draw her tree, because the closer you got to her tree, the better your grade. If you already realized this in grade one, then you handed in a little lollipop, and she said, “oh, that’s divine.” But here’s Junior who really knows a tree as this little woman has never seen a tree in her life. He’s climbed a tree, he’s hugged a tree, he’s fallen out of a tree, he’s listened to the breeze blow through the branches. He really knows a tree, and he knows that a tree isn’t a lollipop! So he takes purple and yellow and orange and green and magenta crayons and he draws this beautiful freaky thing and hands it in. She takes one look and shrieks. “Brain damaged!”
My hope is that when you or your child leave my class, you feel that you were able to explore your personal experience of a “tree” and express it in your own creative way. My hope is that I provide the tools, gentle guidance, and encouragement for what your desired outcome is and you find the beauty in your work.
My gratitude extends to the friendships I’ve made in these classes, the recognition that you support my little business and my livelihood, that I actually GET to live a life supported by art in so many different forms. It can certainly be inconsistent, and each month is an unknown, but somehow, I’ve done it for decades now. I don’t take any of that lightly.
I guess with spring around the corner, my heart is feeling just a little more grateful…