The "Gift" & Gabrielle's Dress, 12x9

"Gabrielle's Dress" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper, ©Brenda Boylan

The "Gift".
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!


Blogger Cmichaudart said...

How delighfully creative of you...in many ways! I have found this same pleasure in giving a small painting to someone who least expected it...or as a wedding gift. Giving a lesson to a child is a wonderful idea. thanks for sharing.

12/26/11, 4:25 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Cindy,
You know, I am not a writer by any means but I'm glad to know that the idea came across. You are right, it is a pleasure when others are thrilled to receive a surprise gift of art. :)

12/26/11, 8:16 PM  
Blogger loriann signori said...

What a lucky child she is!You are so right Brenda. Creativity is very important, as is the idea of risk taking(done safely). Great gift. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

12/28/11, 5:16 AM  
Blogger eric bowman said...

Good for you Brenda -- just like that one teacher that reaches out and makes a difference in our childhood (be it art or anything else)the point is they made a difference because they really cared... I agree with you and have never thought a school football program was worth the intellectual and emotional stimulus that art can be in a young persons life. Art opens doors and brings life to society in so many ways. Glad you're able to pass your gift on!

12/28/11, 12:06 PM  
Blogger Celeste Bergin said...

Best post ever, Brenda! I love how the recipient wants and needs your lesson (and I KNOW you will give her a deluxe lesson, too). More of us should spend time with a young person...time can not be better spent.
Love this painting of Gabriella. You did a great job.

12/28/11, 9:55 PM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks for your comment Loriann, I do hope that the 'gift' carries on! Every little bit helps now days.

Hi Eric, I can count on one hand those who paid interest in my talents as a kid, but so glad they did because those times were life guiding examples. I do hope this young artist shares her gift too!

Celeste, Thanks bunches! Just imagine if each artist shared a handful of time to some young, creative ones? I guess we could call it artistic insurance?

1/1/12, 11:38 PM  

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