Phil's First Tree

"Nana, I want to paint something," said our youngest grandchild. Actually at 22, he was grand, but no child, and I just looked at him. I was wondering if he wanted to repaint the house or take up art work. I played it safe.

"What would you like to paint?" I asked.phil_tree_72

"I don't care. I just want to learn to paint," he said. Well, those may not be the exact words, but I'm close. So here's his first tree. It wasn't where we started. We started with a video on one-stroke painting by Donna Dewberry, and he made some flowers using acrylic paints. Acrylic  is the most forgiving medium even though it dries quickly. He was pleased with the effort. His girlfriend loved the flowers.

Then he wanted to do a tree, so I found a freebie picture on Google. He had a go at it but was disappointed and left it in disgust. He did two. I thought his rejects just needed a bit of trimming and matting. His mother added a frame to the first one and hung it in the entry. Art is after all in the eye of the beholder.

I was born to teach, and I knew from my Mother that the secret to teaching is for the learner to achieve success. No doubt that's why a home economics teacher selects potholders as a student's first sewing lesson. The budding tailor or seamstress is not going to produce a wearable pin-tucked tuxedo shirt or French couture with her effort. You have to build expertise.

Failure should not scar us, but too often it scares us into thinking we are scarred. I once discouraged my sweet little daughter-in-law from sewing because I laughed at her solution in how to join the ruffle on a pillow. I laughed because I never would have thought of it, not because it was not a workable solution. I tried to tell her that but later learned she went away and cried. Sometimes we forget how important our opinion is to others, and sadly, I never saw her sew again. Ah well, she has many talents, but she was doing fine with sewing.

But to get back to young Phillip, he likes painting. I matted his second tree and mailed it to him. He likes it. One doesn't have to start big, and nobody else has to like what one does. Do not be scared to try something new. You might surprise yourself.