Watercolors Upstairs

Dear Art Teacher,

You welcomed kids into the room upstairs of your old home where your daughters used to sleep to teach us watercolors and how to draw. Your husband made us popcorn that we doused with some cheesy salty seasoning that I'd never heard of before or seen since. I remember warmth there. I remember making a drawing so small in the center of my fresh, toothy 18 by 24 inch sheet of paper that you half seriously jokingly told me that you were going to make me do paintings of grapefruits if I didn't start using the full sheet of paper. The other girls laughed, I didn't get it, and you asked one of them to fill me in on the joke.

"Last time I made a small drawing," one of the girls giggled, "she made me make bigger and bigger drawings of grapefruits until it was bursting off the sides of the paper!"

I then had permission to fill up that big, textured, expensive feeling sheet of watercolor paper that my mom had purchased for me based off of a list that you gave her before my first class. I then had permission to do that and I was also then welcomed into a community of artists who were learning and being silly and making the same mistakes that I was making.