My friend, Rozzie Roo, came over to the house a few weeks ago with her art folder from her teaching days of years ago, and gave me my first art lesson, using crayon pastels.
I had so much fun with her, that I decided to purchase my own pastels, and then, with childlike exuberance, asked if she’d be interested in meeting with me on a monthly basis to do some art projects.
Being the loving, agreeable person that she is, Rozzie enthusiastically accepted, and we set up another date to do just that, last week.
So, she comes over on Thursday, and we’re quietly sitting at my kitchen table.
We’re intently focused on doing our individual “art-projects”, with my nifty, brand new, 50-count, extra fine quality oil pastels neatly laid out on said table; and her broken, chewed-up, miniscule pastels strewn on her side of the table, when Rozzie, suddenly looks over at my art work, and nonchalantly says to me,
“Ya know, Hun, if you break your pastels and peel off their wrappings, you’ll be able to work with them better to get the effect you’re looking for with the waves in your picture.”
At this point, I’m skeptically staring at her, with an expression of total disbelief, when she encouragingly continues,
“Lucie, why don’t you just put on your big girl pants, take the plunge, and snap ALL of them in half?”
“You’ll feel great after you’ve broken the first one, and you’ll NEVER look back!”
“Come on, try one – just one. Snap it for Rozzie-Roo.”
“You’ll feel much better.”
“I promise,” she sincerely continues.
I anxiously look up and see Rozzie smilin’ at me with that kind, nurturing look that is so typical of Roz.
“What?” I incredulously ask her, while breaking out in a cold, nervous sweat.
“Are you nuts? These are brand, spanking new. I just bought them.”
“Why would I want to break them, for Pete’s Sake?” I continue, while eyeballing her ancient, broken (well-used) “micro-pastels”, which she used for years teaching local youngsters.
“And besides that, Rozzie, I really don’t like to get my fingers “yucky” when I’m working. I don’t like stuff caked under my nails,” I adamantly explain, raising my left eye brow, while scrutinizing her crayon-caked finger nails on her right hand.
“Yuck! It makes my skin crawl, just thinking about it,” I emphatically continue, as Rozzie correctly interprets the judgmental affect of my raised left eye brow, and sheepishly starts to wipe-off her hands with one of our cleaning towels.
“Ok, Lucie,” she patiently says to me. “You color the way you wanna color.”
“I think you’d get the look you want on your picture, if you’d break them,” she encouragingly continues.
“But do it your way, Honey. I’ll leave you be.”
So, for the next fifteen or so minutes, the great Georgia O’Keeffe and I, quietly continue working on our individual art pieces.
I then suddenly stop working; impulsively grab ahold of one of my crayons, and snap the crayon in half.
“There,” I impishly say to her.
“Ya happy? I broke my first pastel,” I smugly inform her, as I promptly start breaking the next one.
“I hope you’re pleased that my nifty new crayons are soon to be lookin’ like yours,” I curtly continue, while decisively snapping another one.
She slowly and lovingly shakes her head back and forth and says, “Lucie, now use the crayon like I taught you to and see if you like the results.”
“Do it, Honey. Try to do what I showed you, ok?”
I could be wrong, Miss O’Keeffe, but I think there’s a method to your madness!
I’ll never be the next Grandma Moses, People, but I’m sure having fun with this new “hobby” of mine.
I still have a few “unbroken crayons” and that’s ok.
I did a fairly decent job breaking the first few and got my fingers pretty grimy, smudging some of the pastels on my piece to get that “artistic effect,” to please Ms. O’Keeffe, herself.
Maybe next time, I’ll break a few more, and maybe even get my finger nails really yucky.
I just know that the kid in me that preserved my precious, set of 64-Binney and Smith, Crayola Christmas Crayons every year, felt a whopping sense of abandonment and childlike innocence with every snap, and highly recommend the “breaking of one’s Crayola’s” to everyone out there old enough to know better .
Have a grand week, People!
Dance in the street.
Throw your bra in the air.
And by all means, “snap a few crayons”.
I’ll catch up with you next time, living life from my shoes!