Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Angel Mrs. Stormes


I love an art mess.


It's just pretty.


It looks kind of important and like something is about to happen.


It's like art class in grade school. Especially the smell of that glorious Elmer's Glue.


My art teacher was Mrs. Stormes: too mild-mannered and too patient for classrooms of 40+ rural children.


Nobody listened to Mrs. Stormes and that made me mad because I wanted to MAKE SOMETHING!


I wished she would whip those mean little boys or at least send them to Mrs. Harris in the Principal's office. (We girls were almost always good.)


I liked getting busy with those art supplies. I liked cutting and pasting (especially pasting) and ripping and snorting with that paint. Tempera paints smelled like something big was about to happen. She would mix a lot so we wouldn't run out and we had big fat paint brushes to use, and huge coffee cans of dirty water to slosh our brushes around in... then enormous old hopelessly stained sinks in the hall where the water splashed onto your clothes and into your face when you washed out the brushes "good." Mrs. Stormes didn't care how many times you got up to clean your brush "good".


She knew it was necessary business even if you were acting silly while you did it.


Mrs. Stormes bragged about the bonnets of tissue paper and paper plates we made for Easter. She liked the dinosaurs we cut out and glued, along with rocks and moss to dioramas made in cardboard boxes. She thought our Valentines Day mailboxes made from shoe boxes were stunning. She saw art everywhere she looked.


Maybe that's why she was so kind.


So patient.


Why she never whipped those mean boys.


Maybe everything she saw was beautiful... a beautiful mess.


In all our little excited, freckled, dirty rural faces: artists.


Maybe that's why she knew we actually were listening. Listening with a part of ourselves where our excitement couldn't be contained. Even the mean boys.


Angel, Mrs. Stormes.


Finishing the cards last week seemed an exercise from Mrs. Stormes' phenomenal art class. I wanted every interrupting thing to get a whipping. I could smell glue and excitement. There were lots of pairs of scissors to choose from. I jumped in and out of my seat dozens of times. No one got in trouble. No one fussed. No one complained.


Blessed angel, Mrs. Stormes.

3 comments:

Sierra said...

haha...you're funny. well, for myself...I love a photo mess or a scrapbooking mess...I spread it out all over the floor, because my desk at home is too small and I sit in the middle of it and work away! for hours...until 3 am...craft projects consume me! I don't know how you do it all the time...

Donna Roberts said...

Me too! Me too! I like it all spread around where I can see everything good. I like to look at all the work I've been doing!!!
So, you're a little scrapbooker, eh? I'd like to see these books. I'm sure many many many of your pages feature ME!
I figured out that I have to set an alarm in my little studio so I will go to bed. No kidding. Otherwise I stay up all night too and am too grouchy and mean the next day!

Josh and Alicia said...

And why haven't you published a book? I like reading your writing. It's always... exciting.