Recently I have reconnected with a student from my earlier days as an art teacher. And, I do mean early! Maybe 25 or more years ago was the last time I saw him. What a surprise to find that he had earned his master degree in theater arts and is still living near by.
Teachers have an odd job. They rarely see the final product of their work. During the school year, we see sparks of possibilities in every student. Students graduate, and we don’t keep in touch but with a few. We’re left wondering “whatever happened to…” “Did he (or she) use the talents that were so apparent?” The ones that struggle, that work the hardest, always leave a mark on our hearts.
So soon I’ll have some answers. The student, that is now a man, asked me via email to submit a piece for a Day of the Dead show in our town’s new historical societies’ building. A show that he is curating. When we meet at the show, I’ll get to here about his journey from my classroom to now. What an adventure it must have been!
It’s April, and the world is in bloom. I’ve spent the weekend working in my backyard garden trying to get it back in order after it’s been neglected for so long. Winter in California is a holiday compare to other parts of the country , but still it can be cold and wet. During the winter, my garden is best experienced from behind a window in a warm and cozy room. The sunshine this weekend,however, demanded an extended stay outside. So I shot myself outside and hunkered down to do some serious weeding and trimming. A rototiller rejuvenated raised beds with a health dose of organic matter, or in more earthy terms, cow manure. The wild hinter lands are less a jungle and my winter, white skin has the beginning , if not a summer tan, at least a spring one.
Swamps are messy things. They’re wild and untamed, life unfettered. This is a great prompt for me right now. I hours away from Spring Break and the daily grind of teaching high school students. While I love my students, I also need time away from the regimen of the classroom. My swamp image reflects my mental need to let loose. I’ve thrown together this image using a variety of techniques. It’s a little traditional drawing, some digital painting and some digital collage. It’s a little scattered which is how my brain is acting right now. Yes! It’s time for a break.