Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Part two of three.
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My high school art teacher was eccentric. That's a nice way of saying he was a lunatic.
I'm not being disrespectful. I adored him. As did most of his students. We still do. I think all artists should be a little crazy. Perhaps not to the extreme of hacking off your ear and mailing it to a hooker, but a little looney is good.
Mr. Blaise would wander around the classroom, winding his way around desks and students. He'd stop by my easel and exclaim, in his lisp: “The trees, the trees…they speak to me!”
It didn’t surprise me that he’d get a woody, as it were, over the trees. He was, after all, a crazy artist. I didn’t think much of it at the time.
But after discovering, quite by accident, that I am colour blind, I pulled out my high school art portfolio, and sifted through some old paintings. It was clear why Mr. Blaise was so excited about my work.
All my trees were painted varying shades of blue.
Turns out, I've been doing this since I was a kid. All the trees in my colouring books: blue. All the trees finger painted (wearing one of my dad's old work shirts as a smock) in Mrs. Van Dyke's Grade One class: blue.
I was stunned. Why hadn't anyone said anything?
I asked my mother why she and my dad didn't tell me I was colouring all my trees blue.
She gave me an absent pat on the head.
"We thought you were just being creative, dear."