My Cute, Cuddly, Crayola Memoir

When I was five, my grandfather bought me one of those Crayola crayon boxes with the built in sharpener on the back. One little girl in my class was jealous, and she plotted revenge and set me up! I had four aquamarines, lots of hot magentas; lemon yellows in triplicates, a pair of midnight blues, and possibly various peaches, pinks and tans for coloring human faces on the coloring dittos used to sedate us. I always generously shared my duplicates with my classmates. Thanks to my dear grandpa who would spoil me during our trips to Woolworth’s, I probably had the most extensive crayon collection in my class. My crayon connoisseurship was unsurpassed. This made me a target. My nemesis could not stand for it! One morning, she told beautiful Miss Kuder I had several aquamarines because I had stolen them! Of course, Miss Kuder, a kindergarten teacher version of Cher because of her long, brown, flowing hair, didn’t believe it for a second. When I heard the accusation and broke down in tears, Miss Kuder gave me a mom hug that reset everything right in my world. But this was far from over! Everyday we had art class. And, everyday the art teacher popped out of nowhere into our class like Endora from Bewitched. I never knew what kind of tricks she had up her sleeve. I remember my stomach hurt when she got near me. I was forced to inhale her Jean Nate, Charlie blend, and stare at her cat eyes smudged with blue eyeshadow. 

One day the stars aligned so my art teacher and my nemesis could conspire to dethrone me as the crayon queen! Ms. Art teacher whipped out the baby scissors the ones you can’t cut shit with like you really want to when you’re five. She chose my nemesis to pass them out to each student. Goody two shoes gave me the ugliest pair she could find. I think they were even covered in her slime. I wasn’t going to stand for it so I leaped out of my seat, and ran with scissors across the classroom to find another pair. Damn if she was going to give me second hand scissors! Ms. Art teacher caught me in mid run. She got in my face, yelling so loud I thought her mascara would give me whiplash: “DON’T RUN WITH SCISSORS…EVER!” She grabbed me hard by my arm, dragged me to the blackboard. Waiting and watching, I stood in tears as she drew my punishment on the blackboard, a big white chalky dot. She pushed my face into the blackboard, forcing me to position my tiny nose on the dusty dirty dot. (Yes, this was good ole public school in the late 70s!) With the eyes on the back of my head, I witnessed my foe take advantage of my powerlessness to tell Ms. Art teacher I was the classroom klepto, which explained why I had so many aquamarines! Just like that, goody two shoes’ word was law. I was guilty as charged! My crayon box confiscated; my extras quickly disbursed among my classmates. Bossy boots of course took possession of my prized aquamarine!  From that day on, I think I developed an aversion to my art teachers. Somehow, I ended up getting all the crazies, and I earned Cs in every grade school art class I ever took. (I always wondered how do you grade kids on their artistic ability. For me, all art made by kids is beautiful and worthy!)  I never learned to draw or appreciate art the way I probably should have until I got older, and only now as an adult, I realize how much art making I probably missed out on all those years. My family is pretty artistic too. My mom was an art teacher, and I have two cousins on both sides of the family who are artists; one has a successful art studio, and the other is more of a hobbyist. Art runs in the family, but just not in me! Fortunately, my youngest daughter was born with the talent that skipped my generation. 

Woody Allen’s Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona (I know… again with Woody Allen references…), has a perfect scene that captures how I feel about my ability to draw, paint and create that type of art. Scarlet Johansson, as Cristina, tells her artist boyfriend, Javier Bardem:

When it comes to drawing, painting, making that type of art, I feel just like that. I have other gifts and talents, but that type of art is not something I think I will ever excel or be gifted at; nevertheless, this has never stopped me from experimenting and admiring those who do make life beautiful through this type of art. And, if you’re out there, Ms. Art teacher, I hope you’ve learned how to apply makeup! 

I panicked upon seeing today’s #dailycreate as you can imagine, but here is my humble wanna be artist attempt! 
A kindergartner could probably do better, 
but here goes nothing! 

Draw an insect in a way that makes it look cuddly or adorable.