I think I have mentioned on this blog once or twice or, perhaps, seventy five times that I am not a crafty person. It’s a tragic tale that begins in my early childhood days at a small town in southern Iowa where I walked two miles uphill, both ways, to gain a good education. (Actually, I rode a bus, but that doesn’t quite sound dramatic enough.)
I was a young kindergartener with a healthy self-esteem who painted, colored, and cut with the best of them. In my mind I was an artiste, until the fateful day Mrs. Johnson gave me a “needs improvement” in my report card under “cutting skills.” (I also received a poor grade in “skipping” but my horrible athletic skills are another rant for another day.)
I remember thinking to myself, “Who needs improvement on something as basic as cutting with scissors? Only losers.” And, thus, an inferiority complex the size of Texas was created within my soul.
My whole life I believed that I wasn’t good at art or at crafts, and that was okay for the most part. Dates don’t usually inquire about your drawing or scissor skills nor do university professors or potential employers. Sure, I had an unhealthy hatred for Pictionary, but really, who doesn’t? My lack of artistic ability didn’t effect much of my day to day life.
But I always felt there was something wrong in my life. Something that “needed improvement.”
I am now the homeschooling mother of three children who deserve to be taught art. They deserve the chance to mix paints and do projects and create masterpieces. And they really deserve to do all of this more than once or twice a semester.
So this year I’ve buckled down, spent hours on Pinterest (because I’m terribly unselfish and giving like that) and came up with dozens and dozens of art projects we are going to do together this year.
My daughters are thrilled while my son feels his anti-artistic tendencies are being oppressed. I say all children who are turning eleven need to be oppressed at least once a week, so the art classes are firmly scheduled in pen on my lesson planner.
Here’s what we made last Friday: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Basically we drew designs on paper plates with oil pastels, then painted over these with watercolor paints, then finally cut out the circles and other accessories aind glued them together to make a caterpillar.
(You can find the complete instructions at this lovely art blog here. Although I think my students’ work turned out better than hers. Because being biased is how I roll.)
I would just like to toot my own horn and point out that I actually mixed the watercolor paints myself and that I actually own a set of oil pastels. And a glue gun. Which, of course, means I’m an actual art teacher. At least in my head.
I would also like to point out that while my kindergartener’s cutting skills are not perfect, she will NOT be receiving a “needs improvement” on her report card. Because an artist shouldn’t only be judged on their technical skills, but also on their passion. And this caterpillar? Is full of passion.
So in your face, Mrs. Johnson. In your face.