Years ago, when I worked as a waitress, I spent time with one of my co-workers who was an artist first, server second.
Oil, watercolors, sculpting clay – no matter the medium, she could bring something of beauty to life.
She was also a rather liberated soul – – I admit I’m rather naive and probably somewhat of a prude. Sometimes her comments on life made me blush and after her initial discovery, she took delight in making me turn red as often as she could.
The first time I visited her home, what should I see on her living room coffee table but a life sized, sculpted model of a male’s, um, well, you know… important appendage….complete with wrinkled skin, veins and well, EVERYTHING.
Yes, she had to give me three beers before I could stammer out, “You Made That?!? On purpose??”
Tonight though, I was thinking of her because of Purple Dinosaurs.
She told me about the little soul in kindergarten that was told to draw their favorite animal. And they did – – a big, purple dinosaur. Front half on the front of the paper – back half on the back side – – if you photocopied them and laid them side by side, they matched up perfectly.
A beautiful, to scale piece of art, by one who was 5 years of age.
That child nearly didn’t become an artist.
Well, you see the teacher told her it wasn’t right – she was supposed to draw the entire picture on just the front side of the paper – and draw it properly so it fit. It didn’t matter that the paper was too small to hold her grand vision. She was supposed to downsize her creation to fit the canvas provided by someone else.
She always maintained we each have our own, big, beautiful, Purple Dinosaur – – and that at some point, someone, somewhere will tell us why our Purple Dinosaur is wrong, too big or not proper.
She inspired others to create their own Purple Dinosaurs – –
I’ve never forgotten that story – – and even now, nearly 30 years later, when I re-tell this story, I also tell people how wonderfully done and realistic that sculpture on her coffee table was…even if it wasn’t purple… or extinct….