Reflections

I Miss Teacher Beth

A few nights ago, I dreamt of Teacher Beth, my former art teacher for about 7 or 8 years. We were preparing for an art class session she was going to have with my 6-year old son.

I have not had art lessons since 2009. I miss her, I miss our sessions. I miss her words of encouragement and her frank critiques. I want to be with her, after several years of setting aside my pencils and brushes. I need her now more than ever, as I embark on a new creative project.

I first signed up sometime 2001 or maybe 2002 for art classes initially for “stress relief”. Sure, art class was a stress relief but that was just the least of the benefits. Art class turned out to be a re-discovery of a first love. I wanted to be an artist when I was young but insecurities about my talent led me to set aside drawing, painting and any form of creative work when I entered college up to the early part of my professional life.

Teacher Beth gave me not what I wanted but what I needed. She made me realize that I’m an artist! She pushed me beyond my limits. She introduced me to a talent I didn’t know I had and she pushed me to nurture my talent. She never minced her words especially when I was not doing well, when I was not giving it my all.

Here are a couple of my favorite paintings:

painting 1 painting 2

Teacher Beth left in 2009 for the US to be with her family. I no longer have any communications with her (she abhors email) and I’m not much of a letter writer. I had two more children after she left and I set aside my paints and brushes once again to focus on being a mother.

But, as the kids learned to pick up pencils and crayons and started to draw on any surface, I took out my beloved paints and brushes once again. I am now drawing and painting with the kids. I don’t teach them, I don’t know how, I just let them paint what they like, how they like. Recently, I have gotten back to doodling and painting for myself on a regular basis.

My dream made me realize just how much I missed her. But, despite how much I feel that I want her and need her to be my teacher once again, I just wish that my dream would come true – that she would teach my son (and daughters) to draw and paint, just as she did with me. Even then… I would just settle to be able to see her again, to say hello, to say thank you and to introduce her to my little artists.

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