I got in my archives to find a sample of something I’ve done for Valentine’s Day. The attached product shot is a tower of boxes I did for Wolferman’s/Harry & David. I tried to mess around with hearts this week, but I guess I wasn’t feeling it after looking at Krista Hamrick’s splendid VD post. Either that, or maybe I’m being too literal about hearts since my friend is going to get his shocked to change its rhythm. I didn’t think electric hearts was quite the way to go when people are thinking about romance. (Happy thoughts for Franz are appreciated.)
While I was in my box looking for VD art, I found my niece’s drawings. I love her spontaneity and concepts. “Why so many hearts?” “Because love is all around!” “Why are these hearts attached to rays?” “Because our love touches other people!” “Why is this heart so many colors?” “Because our hearts can feel so many things!” “Why are there 3 hearts?” “This is you, and this is me, and this is the love we make between us!”
C’mon! How can I not love this child?! I have her dad’s kiddie art too, but I don’t think he ever drew me a heart. Ever. Alien, yes, but no hearts.
I felt very popular when I went back to school to substitute teach. The kids would yell “Yay!” when they saw me at the front desk. I tried to make it fun, but my ulterior motive was to teach things that weren’t on the lesson plan: life skills, self-esteem, logic, ecology, history… something that would be useful in their thinking throughout their lives. I didn’t go in with a plan. I just seized opportunities. I preferred older kids. I don’t have anything against little kids. I even love some of them, but a whole classroom full of disease-infested children who can’t go to the lavatory by themselves is just more than I want to deal with – and then some of the hoard of needy children would spontaneously make me love art. I kept those too. I even got love art from high school kids. Yep, I felt very popular.
One time, a kid walked in my class and yelled “Hey Bitch!” to a friend. I said that wasn’t acceptable and wouldn’t be permitted in my class. The kids joked and said it was just a term of friendship. I said I wouldn’t be friends with anyone who called me bitch, and why not say nice things to people they’re supposed to like? The kids laughed at me. I said, “This is a vocational class. You’re going to spend a lot of time together. You need a safe zone where everyone feels included and liked.”
I often had this class because their regular teacher had other obligations, and I got to know the kids quite well. I would’ve forgotten about this blip in time, but at the end of the year, a kid came in to give a student an office note and said “Hey Bitch!” in greeting. “We don’t say things like that here” one of my boys said. “This is our ‘safe zone’.” Be still my heart! I suppose it helped that this was the best looking, coolest, roughest boy in class. I hugged him and his cheeks went pink and I got that precious look of turned down face, hopeful eyes looking up, grateful for approval. I really felt like I had done something good in my life.
Wishing everyone lots of love on Valentine’s Day and every day!
Last week’s post on my raccoon skull reminded me of these pictures I took of my nephew. Meet the pagan warrior! That’s a deer skull he spiked onto a stick. I couldn’t decide which picture I liked best, so you can see both of them. “Why the clam shells?” “They’re money!” A true Aries. I don’t think he ever drew hearts for me either. He’s all grown up now. I should send these pictures to his friends. Okay, that’s it for animal skulls, I promise. Well, unless I find something really cool in the woods.