It was first grade. I was seven. We'd go to "art" class down the hall once a week and I have no recollection of it except for making this "shelf sitter" figure of my grandpa. That day I remember, but only flashes of it.
I remember being excited about making my grandpa a gift. I remember that each child got the same sized chunk of clay. I remember having trouble with the hair and the art teacher giving me suggestions. I remember feeling anxious when I was told it was "clean up" time because I didn't have the legs just right yet. I also remember being disappointed by having missed glazing his neck, although that was obviously on a different day.
Later that same year we got to work with clay again and I opted to make a shelf sitter of my grandma so they could have a matching set.
This time I distinctly remember being rushed during the glazing. I was forced to glaze her pants, shoes and cat all the same color because time was nearly up and the art teacher wouldn't give me any other colors. I remember her telling me to "just finish up with what you have" because it was "clean up" time. On behalf of the child artist within me, I'm still peeved about it.
The cat was supposed to be black and white to match Gypsy, our cat. Check out kitty's "dead eyes" with the little X's for eyes. So funny!
The funny thing is, when I see them, they look my "my artwork" to me. Apparently, everything I've done since hasn't strayed very far from these first pieces. In reality, my grown up artwork has always included a nod to my childhood artwork, whether intentional or not. However, I could never replicate the playfulness and simplicity I see in these. They are precious. One of a kind.
I'm so glad my grandparents still have these.
And I'm ever so thankful that I don't have anyone telling me that it is "clean up" time.