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Art is a funny thing.

People like my brother-in-law and a few of my friends have what, to someone like me, seems like an almost preternatural ability to create with their own hands images of such startling quality that it can be a bit overwhelming at times.  It is a talent I truly envy, and I admire them for this reason, among many others.

However, I remember a time when we all felt like we were budding artists.  When everyone felt that their creations were priceless works of art fit for display in the Louvre right next to the Mona Lisa. 

Or, at the very least, on the refrigerator under a magnet shaped like a crocodile.

The more I consider this, the more I realize how sad it is that so many of us lose that artistic drive.  Now, I understand that for most it isn’t truly lost, just channeled into other creaive pursuits whether it be writing, scrapbooking, or some other activity through which we route our creative juices.  But the visual arts are something that it’s difficult for most of us to hold onto.  We just don;t have the talent, and that is soemthing that cannot be taught.

However, if we are willing to allow ourselves to become kids again for a time there are solutions.

I personally believe every household in America should have a 64 count box of Crayola crayons (with the sharpener in the back) ready and waiting.  You loved them as a kid, why not now?  Grab a coloring book and your crayons and let yourself drift back to the days when the fridge was a greater honor than any art museum.  Crayola helped define much of our childhood.  Thise crayons were as much a part of being an American youth as kickball with red rubber playground balls and zoo field trips on big yellow buses. 

There are other outlets from our youth, and many are still around.  Remember Lite Brite?  My siblings and I had whole cans full of those colored pegs.  What about Spirograph?  I even had a set when I was a kid that would let me make rubbings of mix-n-match monsters by combining plates with different heads, torsos, and legs. 

Good times.

The point is, there is no reason we can’t continue to dabble in art.  I’ll never be my friend Meg who can just doodle absently and create something that is truly incredible, but I can let loose a bit and enjoy creating with a stick of colored wax.

And the sky can be purple if I want it to be.



  1. Crayons should be a staple in everyone’s house- if you can’t draw you can always melt them down in the oven on wax paper and make cool color blobs and if you are older you can get away with calling it “Modern Art” if you are younger – it still qualifies for being hung on the refrigerator door.

    Some artistic ability can be taught but the true genius comes from an open mind speaking on paper with all the colors of the rainbow. We have a lot to say that words can’t relay.

  2. I had to laugh at the sky can be purple if I want to be comment. That was such an overiding theme in “Yellow”. As for drawing my son has rekindled it a bit in me. Usually with playdough. He creates full meals and tries to feed them to Amy.

  3. Wow! Alligator magnet! This is a real magnet from our childhood, yes? I think I remember this alligator of which you speak.

    Great post. That sharpener box still makes me salivate. I think I might go out and buy one tomorrow. I’m always a little self-conscious doing any sort of art with Danny in the house, although I’m sure he would hate that. Once he tried to teach me to paint early in our relationship. DISASTER. I’m too much of a perfectionist, and I get frustrated.

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