"Gabrielle's Dress" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper, ©Brenda Boylan
No, I'm not talking about giving art for Christmas, although it's a great idea, given the season. What I'm talkin' about here is the source of creativity. Let me explain. I remember as a child my mother telling me I had a "gift" and that it was pretty darned special if you had it and it doesn't come to everyone. She told me I had to nurture my gift, regardless of her sanity, (she was mentally ill) and to practice it, play with it, use it. I took these words and always felt that it was something to treasure, guard, and feed. But more and more we as a society are losing on art. We see it all the time. The schools eliminate art programs, be it music, dance, photography, choir or art and so our young never get exposure to it's beauty, leading to lack of appreciation. What will it be like if our nation didn't appreciate art? SCARY thought? Yeah.
This brings me back to the "gift". Let me go back a couple of weeks here and tell you about a gift that I received that truly made my season.
My son was invited to a classmates' birthday party and as the date was upon us, I was hurried to come up with some sort of a gift for my son to give, and quickly. Being that it was the height of shopping fever, traffic was thick, and time was short before we had to be at the party, we had to improvise on gift giving. Call it procrastination or desperation, I had to figure something out. Knowing that this young lady was interested in making art, I dug through some old'er' art supplies and came up with something she'd hopefully like. Now these 'older' gifts just said "used" all over them, even though they were still in great condition and completely usable, but kids can tell by the plastic packaging if they've previously been opened up. So, I thought to myself, I'll drop a pastel lesson in the mix to make the supplies have meaning. Done. Shopping is done. So I wrapped my lesson note with the supplies of pastel paper, some student grade pastels, a little frame, and an old pastel magazine and called it good. Well, let me tell you the gift gave back and bit pretty hard!
That night, I received a call from the birthday girl, and in tears, she explained that this was the best gift she ever had. I'm happy beyond belief that she really appreciated the gift too. I'm not trying to toot my horn here and slobber that I'm a great gift giver.... No, not even! What I'm saying here is that kids need art. They are starving for art and time to create, time for individual expression, and time to just make something out of nothing. This made my heart just plump full of joy! What a gift!
Now, go and make your mark!