Much to the chagrin of my parents, I was innately an artist from birth. I was always creating things from simple drawings to hand-making Christmas cards before scrapbook making was even a word. At every turn I was told to focus on the fundamentals, and art was dying even back in my days. I recalled my most favorite art teacher, Mr Potter, always struggling to fight for his talented students who were told… even gym was more important than Art Class. I saw how he fought to get supplies for us when first on the budget cut block was always art and music. I watched him take his own personal time and encouraged all of our creativity and showed us how it permeated throughout every aspect of our lives and how it could enrich it more than the status quo. He taught me to find the beauty in everything and never to define myself into a box.
It is that passion that still lives with me today and with my own children, I never discourage an urge to draw or create. I love the fact, that despite all the amazing gifts my children get showered with thanks to my life as a blogger, their most favorite, treasured and used gift is the art easel I purchased last Christmas. It doesn’t do fancy things or require batteries. It’s simply a blank canvas for which their minds can wander freely. In fact, as I sit here on medical bed rest, I just picked myself up off my bed when my daughter came to tell me that her easel had no more paper and she wanted to draw. Despite the excruciating pain I’m experiencing with every step, I happily went down to her beloved art easel and refreshed her paper supply.
I love every piece of paper that comes off of that easel and every piece of art work that comes home from school. Very different than my own childhood, I display them all proudly in my home and even bought and invested in frames to hang each of these treasures. One of my most favorite pieces my daughter (at 4 years old, shown to the left) made for her Aunt Jamie, is a piece that put a smile on everyone’s face. When asked what was the inspiration for her painting, she replied simply, It’s mommy and Jamie-Yi on your cell phones. Priceless! I laughed and I cried at the same time to see what she sees.
It saddens me that treasures like these are disappearing as pressures on the schools and teachers focus on test scores rather than nurturing a child’s natural creativity. Lost is the sentiment that art education enriches their lives and their education. I’m doing my part and working to inspire my daughter and her class’ creativity by committing to donate to their project. I hope you’ll join me in supporting art education with the help of Blicks Art Room Aid.
What: Do you believe art is an essential part of your child’s education? Then you already know how important art education is — and how schools are struggling to keep their art programs alive. That’s where Art Room Aid can help! A program of Blick Art Materials, Art Room Aid is helping teachers across the country enlist the aid of parents, families, friends, and other art advocates to fund their art projects and keep creative learning going.
Want to learn more? Join this Twitter Party to find out how you can support art education, make sure art continues to play a role in your children’s lives, and spread the word about Art Room Aid in your community. We’ll be discussing projects you can do with your own kids, and sharing sources of inspiration.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2 p.m. ET
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #BlickARA hashtag to track the conversation. See this Twtvite for more info and to RSVP: http://twtvite.com/BlickARA
Prizes: We will give away five total prizes – two $25 Blick gift coupons, two $50 Blick gift coupons, and one $75 Blick gift coupon.
Hosts: @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann
Check out Art Room Aid here: http://www.dickblick.com/ara
Blick Art Materials website: http://www.dickblick.com/