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Re: art class in the dark ages (my story)


From: mary maloney johnson (maloneymk_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Feb 12 2005 - 15:15:27 PST

There was a young blonde art teacher who came to the classroom when I was
little. We painted big pictures at our desks in the classroom. I made
flowers that filled the whole paper and accidently overworked the biggest
rose. My flowers were big and painted directly, not drawn first. I remember
spending a very long time, many weeks making a mosaic of tiny squares of
construction paper. In fourth grade our classroom teacher taught us to
embroider on burlap. She taught us how to sew a frame of one color around
the edge and then weave a second color through the first line of stitching,
then pull the outer threads of burlap to make the edges fringed. She kept
grouped colors of yarn cut and easy to get to on a standing wooden holder.
We learned outline stitch, blanket stitch, satin stitch and applique. I
made a circus with an orange striped tent, an empty lion's cage a big red
appliqued elephant. At home I drew the plastic fruit in a glass bowl and
the pheasants that were printed on our drinking glasses. My parents bought
me a paint by number kit and I used the left over oil paint to make a
picture of tall mountains on one of my dad's shirt boards from the dry
cleaner. My mother took the embroidery and the flower painting and the
mountains to a frame shop and got them all framed. I was so proud. Then a
family friend came to visit and when she was showing him the framed
pictures he dropped one and the glass broke. I found out years later he had
a drinking problem. I was shy and embarassed over the attention but felt
devastated for some reason, I could never figure out why.

Before I started school I made things from mud one day and painted them
after they dried. I made a carrot, an apple ans the head (in relief) of
President Kennedy. I thought it really looked like him. I took them ona
white garden cart to the neighbors houses and knocked on their doors to see
if they wanted to buy them. I sold them for 10 cents each. For some reason
I was embarassed for years over having done that.

I learned a lot of useful skills from home-ec teachers over the years when
I was older. I feel bad for the kids who don't have that any more... which
is almost everybody where I live.