Thursday, July 17, 2008

thursday art

i've spent the week working at my church .... we are sponsoring a week of camp for some at risk kids from the inner city .... if you look at my last post, you can read about the coloring class i am leading .... i have children helpers ... and they help by sitting around the big table and coloring .... and encouraging the visitor kids to color, as well ..... all in all it has been a happy and easy experience .... which makes me astonished at how utterly exhausting it is ....  i think part of it is being needed .... and being "on" .... and being in charge ..... and trying to meet the needs of so many that need so much .... in 45 minutes of coloring i can't really do much about some needs.... food, safety, security .... and i have to make do with being supportive (nice pickle, love your color choices, how did you think up something SO creative) ....and being helpful (here, use my pen) ..... 

i have some feel good stories from the week ... some of them are about my own kids "getting it" .... figuring out that our differences have nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with life circumstances .... and poverty .... but one is much more concrete .... 

on monday, a sweet girl was squinting at me during my story telling ... i noticed right away ... it was entirely apparent that she could not see me! .... at the end of the storytime, a leader brought the girl glasses .... you left these on the bus .... she held them up to her face ... the glasses had no arms ... they'd broken off ....but at least she could see .... when she came to my classroom, she sat right next to me and was so charming and chatty and sweet .... i asked about her glasses ... they were old ... she broke them .... she couldn't get them fixed yet .... of course, i didn't ask why .... i looked at her glasses ..... and decided i would go insane if i had to hold my glasses to my head .... so ... i asked her if i could try and work on hers .... just an easy quick fix and two green pipe cleaners ... and i had a happy, smiling, pipecleanerglasses wearing girl... drawing caped, flying pickles by my side .... and very happy that i'd chosen green pipe cleaners .... much better than blue she said ...... 

well.... fast forward 48 hours .... and the same sweet child runs up to me ... wearing new glasses .... i have a pal at church who is an eye doctor .... and my new little bespectacled friend had been introduced to her ... and wahla (i know, voila) ... real glasses ... no pipe cleaner ....  i have never been so happy to be outdone ... i was thinking SO little ... oh, i'll maguyver it with a pipe cleaner .... but her shepherd had thought BIG .... i was blissfully happy for that sweet child ... and she was way happier than that even .... 

i maybe just taught them to draw turtle ice cream cones ... but my two friends, one by thinking and asking, and one by doing and giving .... had a huge impact on one child .... and really isn't it all about changing the world one small bit at a time .... 

this camp we are leading is volunteer intensive ... we needed lots to make it run well .... so i recruited my best pal, al ..... she's teaching another art class .... my children spend a lot of time in her classroom as helpers ... her kids spend a lot of time in my room as helpers ... funny how it works out that way ..... today, after camp .... al's family all came home with us ... and she and i snuck in some art time .... 
i finished these two tiny canvases ....the backgrounds were just sitting there waiting for me  ..... there's something soothing about falling into the art room ... and doing something sweet and familiar and happy ..... 
they are small ... six inches square ... i've done another tiny poppy like this in the last couple months .. but it sold at lola's gallery last month .... so clearly, i needed to make another ...or two .... 

one more day of camp ... and disco bananas and polka dotted zebras and giraffes on roller skates .... what have you been doing to stretch yourself?

3 comments:

see you there! said...

The glasses story has to be the best thing I've heard in a long time. Thanks for starting my day on such a positive note.

Love the poppies!

Darla

aimee said...

what a sweet story about the pipecleaners, and a nice reminder that something that seems so basic to me - like a pair of glasses - is a luxury to others and it shouldn't be that way.

great blue background on the mini poppies.

Contessa Kris said...

Ahhh, you almost made me cry over the sweetness of the pipecleaner glasses girl, and her new glasses and everything. It's such a joy sometimes to just set aside 'ourselves' and help others. The richness of it all can benefit your life and theirs for years to come. You never know the future impact you can make in their life by just being you and doing art. What a wonderful experience. Love your new poppy art. Thanks for visiting my blog recently. I'm playing catchup. Talk to you soon, friend.