Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



All of My Friends

Enter to win a copy of Daughter of Ishmael!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

Giveaway ends April 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Monday, June 11, 2012

Art for the Non-Artist


I'm not an artist.
Really.
I'm not being modest or anything.
I'm really not an artist.
But in elementary school, everyone was an artist.
Because the teacher said so.
I should probably mention, here, that my painting of a tree looked . . . ahem . . . nothing like a tree.
Oh, it had a trunk.
Or more accurately, a TRUNK.
One large swath of brown paint.
Straight from the bottom of the page to the top.
Then there were leaves.
Okay. Well I thought they were leaves.
My teacher was kind.
She merely smiled, tucked my painting away, and gave me something else to work on.
A lump of clay.
This was more like it!
She handed out more lumps of clay. “Now class,” she said, “I want you to make me a dinosaur!”
Oooh! That would be so much fun!
I tackled my lump of dark grey clay with enthusiasm.
Around me, dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes began to appear.
Triceratops.
Tyrannosaurus.
Looking more and more realistic.
I looked at my clay.
It closely resembled . . . a snake.
I worked some more.
Molding. Pressing.
Then looked around again.
Next to me stood a Brontosaurus.
Next to him? Stegosaurus.
I turned back to mine.
A snake.
But with legs.
I made the legs thicker.
Now I had a snake.
With thicker legs.
I kept at it.
My teacher walked by and nodded encouragingly.
Well it looked encouraging to me.
I thickened the body.
Accidentally pressing down on the back end.
My sculpture sat up.
Yup. Sat up.
Huh.
Suddenly, it looked like a bear.
I smiled and made a large pot-shaped lump and put it between the four feet.
It really did look like a bear.
My teacher stopped beside my desk.
“Diane, I thought I told you to make a dinosaur.”
“Ummm,” I said.
“That's definitely a bear.”
I looked down at my sculpture and nodded.
“A remarkably good bear.”
The teacher sounded as surprised as I was.
Again, I nodded.
“But you were supposed to make a dinosaur.”
“Do you want me to start over?”I asked, my hand hovering uncertainly over my work of art.
“No!” she said quickly. Then, a little more calmly, “No. You just keep working on that and we'll see.”
I shrugged and bent the legs around the honey pot.
Then I flattened them a bit at the bottom to form paws.
Then I stared at it.
A bear.
Where had that come from?
My teacher was just as astonished as I was.
She entered my sculpture in the local elementary level art fair.
My family and I moved before I found out how it did.
And definitely before I got my sculpture back.
But I've often wondered.
Both where it came from.
And where it went.

18 comments:

  1. I AM an artist(well, I pretended to be one in college).
    And your bear, my dear, is what we in the art community (or at least I in my art classroom)like to call "a happy accident."
    We all have fumbles and failings occur as we paint or mold...and sometimes, just sometimes, those accidents end up being beautiful - and happy.
    Bask in it - and never let on that it wasn't on purpose. (unless it makes for a really good blog)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Becky! You are the first to hear about my 'happy accident'. Let's keep it our little secret. Oh . . . wait . . .

      Delete
  2. I believe you were more inspired by the clay than the instructions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! I love clay. Sooo . . . mould-able.

      Delete
  3. When it comes to clay we all have at least one masterpiece in us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that was my one and only. Everything I make now looks like . . . you guessed it . . . snakes.

      Delete
  4. Hi Diane,

    What a fun memory to reminisce about! Your teacher was kind and encouraging to allow you to follow through on what your heart desired you to make! I came over from NOBH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Noreen. And thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Reminds me of the time my Grade 4 teacher took and laminated the pictures I drew for the 'Fox and the Crow' poem we learned. To the last of my knowledge, she still had it and used it every time from then on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But there all similarity ends, because you WERE an artist!!!

      Delete
  6. Sometimes we are just creative out of no where... my whole family are artists, except for me. My drawings are unbelievably poor at best but once when my oldest was 11, I drew some pictures for a project for her and wow were they good. Since than I have never been that creative. Oh well, at least I can write. That is your creativity too Diane... writing. That is amazing creativity:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See? You, too had that one flash of brilliance. Thank you, Launna! I just never think of writing as artistic. Except when other people are dong it. Like you!
      Funny, that . . .

      Delete
  7. A flash of childish brilliance or happy circumstance?

    Doesn't matter. It made a lovely story. :-)

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer to think of it as brilliance. My one and only flash.

      Delete
  8. Well the stone carvers say the art is already there. We just chip away to find it.
    So it must be with clay. you discovered something and it came out. A living genius ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that! Discovery and realization. Together in one lump of plain old clay!

      Delete
  9. Too bad you didn't get it back I would love to see a picture of your masterpiece. Everyone should have at least one art masterpiece in their life:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. I wish I could remember exactly what it looked like. Oh, well, I imagine it in someone's art collection. A treasured piece. One that incites the owner to say, proudly. "Oh, yes. That piece. Bear and honey pot. The jewel of my collection. No one really knows who the artist was. But we believe that it is early neolithic in origin. Perhaps proof that early man was far more advanced than we give him credit for." :)

      Delete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?