Monday, May 11, 2015
Portrait Of An Artist
The funny thing about kids is that they have this tendency to grow up! The following is about a young lady who now sits in my sixth period class. This is from September 18, 2006.
Everyday, when the end-of-school bell rings, Avery comes to see me. I can't pinpoint when it started, probably several weeks into the school year. Avery is a fourth grader at Westbury Christian School. Her mom is in charge of special events on our campus and her grandfather, Robert McCloy, is our school's president. Last year, Avery was great friends with Jennifer Mills, one of our graduating seniors, kind of a little sister-big sister thing. I don't think Avery grasped the concept of graduation and she would come upstairs to the upper school hallway at 3:25 pm, searching for her departed buddy. Several of the teachers stand in front of the high school office, doing crowd control, and Avery began hanging out with us. She's not shy like I would have been in the presence of adults at her age. She shows us the braces in her upper mouth and informs us she just lost several baby teeth. Today, she was sporting shortened hair and new tennis shoes, noteworthy happenings for anybody's weekend!
As the faculty conversations die down and the hallways clear, the teachers drift off to our respective classrooms. Usually, I have about ten minutes of end of the day business to manage and Avery comes along. This afternoon, she picked up paper. Once, she untangled wooden Honduras crosses on strings that had knotted up. Most days, she draws. Avery is a portrait artist. She has concluded several masterpieces of me, one of which hangs on my classroom door. Last week, I introduced Avery to Skye, another gifted artist who is a student in my eighth period sophomore Bible class. The next day, Avery presented her newest friend with a Picasso-esque pencil likeness of Skye. This morning, my middle school girls' basketball team could not practice outside because of inclement weather. Instead, we took the opportunity to write my niece, Meagan, who will begin a two year mission to Zambia next month. I asked Avery if she would draw a picture of Meagan to include with the letters. She agreed and I showed her Meagan's picture from one of those little magnet prayer reminders. Avery, with the artist's eye for perfection, had to get it just right from the tint of the hair to the shade of the complexion. As always, her ten minute project proved gallery-worthy. Meagan, even though she probably will never meet Avery, is sure to love it. These days, anybody with a cell phone can take a picture. A photograph is the work of a machine while a drawing is the combination of mind and hand, guided by the imagination lacking in a camera lens. We took school pictures several weeks ago but my proofs will remain in my teachers' lounge mailbox. I don't care what some school pose indicates that I look like. I care who the eye of Avery says I resemble.... and I hope it's a child of God.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 8:45 PM