Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bold Butterfly

Paige's last day of public school was last week, and while in the school un-enrolling her, I noticed how wonderful the art projects were hanging up and down the hallways.

I remember elementary school art class as being the best thing ever. Better than Santa. Better than popcorn. Better than ANYTHING. Like Paige, my art was always the one by the front door of the school, usually with a blue ribbon attached to it.

Then I grew up just enough to stop doing art except when absolutely necessary. Sure, I always got 100's on the projects I made for class, and yeah, you need an exact replica of this drawing? Sure, I can do that, too. But I never thought anything of it. Yes, I'm a good at art. So what?

Fast forward too many years and I add to my very, very short list of regrets the fact that I missed so many opportunities to take art classes. My high school had a nationally recognized art program. Did I take a single art class? Nope.

I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!), which is as liberally "art"sy as they come. Did I take one measly little art class? Nope. Not one. Not one in four years plus three summers of continual higher education.

I took advanced evolutionary mechanics, embryology, and genetic diversity classes instead.

Those were awesome classes, don't get me wrong. But had I known, had I had one inkling of what my adult life would really be like, I would have dropped organic chemistry level 401 and taken Drawing 101.

What's the point? I've lost my train of thought......

Oh, yes. Elementary art education.

Because I took so little art instruction classes, my mind is limited to what I can come up with as new art projects for my children and myself. I will be homeschooling in the spring so I need ideas for cool art projects. I will be, amongst many other things, the art teacher.

While waiting for the paperwork at the school, I walked up and down the hallway snapping pictures of the many art projects the kids had done. I won't put any online because I don't have permission, but this butterfly I did is an example of one the projects they did. Each child drew an animal and then filled in the open areas with blocks of patterns using many bright and wonderful colors. Paige made a snake that I'll post here soon.

Point of my ramblings: If you have the opportunity, whether young or old, to take an art class, do it! Life is short, art is precious, and evo devo is limited in potential applications.


  1. Love your butterfly, all those colors are wonderful! And the patterns, almost looks like fabric swatches quilted together.

    Yes, art class was my all time favorite class in elementary school too! I can still remember just how happy I became when it was time for art. Good for you, being the art teacher next year - you are perfect for it! The projects I can remember range from the usual "do this still life", create a record album (dating myself here), create a 3D letter from heavy construction paper & "decorate" it (I did the letter T). My favorite project was the "yarn art" - took a large wooden base and applied layers of tissue paper over it (sort of decoupage). Then we nailed in nails, along the 4 edges, standing up. Then using yarn, we strung back & forth to make the patterns (think spirograph designs). I did mine in all blues & greens (tissue paper and yarn). It looked so cool when it was done. And my letter "T" was so good somebody stole it! Ah yes, the good old art classes!

  2. Oh, hindsight! We ALL have regrets - part of life! Your butterfly is so pretty to the eyes. And I dare-say that you will come up with great ideas for "art class"! If not, ask Paige! I can't wait to see her snake! She's certainly talented (like her Ma!) Keep up the great work, Paula!

  3. I love the bright exuberance of your butterfly. Being an art teacher sounds like a blast, and I'm sure you will approach it with the same beautiful inventiveness that shows in your paintings. I took all my basic art classes in college, before I strayed away from an art education. Since you haven't had any formal art education, your art qualifies as "outsider art."