Somebody’s Listening

My students are a never-ending source of inspiration.  Yesterday’s lesson for my youngest student was on still life.   I put out several pieces of artificial fruit, and several bowls.  She was to pick three pieces of fruit and one bowl, and make a still life she would like to paint.    To her credit, and her good eye, she picked an apple, the grapes, a pear, and a deep blue bowl.  She put the apple and the grapes in the bowl, and the pear down on the table next to the bowl.  Nice looking still life.

She worked on a drawing, making her shapes larger than usual, making me happy.  Nice job, I commented.  She got her big grin.  She tends to draw things small, then has difficulty when it’s time to paint.

Unafraid to change things, she decided she wanted a window behind the fruit bowl.  That would make her painting a still life and a landscape, she announced, grinning again.  And if she added someone looking at the bowl, it would be a portrait, landscape and still life.  Wow, she was really connecting the dots.

When the paints started flying, I reminded her to put her shadows in.   She darkened the bottom of the pear and bowl, but directly underneath them.  I pointed out that the shadow was going to the right.  She quickly reminded me that she’d put the window in behind the still life, so the shadow would be cast right where she’d painted them.   It was my turn for the big grin.  She’s been listening all along.


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