One of my earliest art memories is of Mrs. B who used to bring her lamb to school every spring for us to sketch … and take turns feeding with a baby bottle. How cool is that when you are 5, 6, or 7 years old? Or any age for that matter. If my college physics professor had brought a lamb to lectures I would have retained so much more information. (Note to all teachers and professors: Bring a lamb for greater long term retention.)
Mrs. B was my beloved art teacher in my early elementary years. I vaguely recall that she was a very sweet, grandmotherly lady who we all loved. She was not very tall and seemed rather elderly. I think she had short, white hair. Maybe that’s why she seemed old, perhaps she was really 25 and prematurely grey? I suspect not, but who knows? It is so funny how childhood memories work.
She had a big, exciting cardboard box full of fat, paperless crayons clearly meant for little, imprecise hands. Since they had no paper wrappings, the fat crayons had bits of all the other colors stuck to them. Yellow, the lightest color, was particularly contaminated. I was never quite sure how I felt about that…
We had no glue sticks back then and used to stick things with a thick white paste that smelled lovely (almost as good as fresh damp “ditto copies” smelled) or “rubber cement” that smelled nasty and rubbery and came in a glass jar that had a clever lid with a built-in brush. The rubber cement was fun because of the cool design of the brush-lid. Plus, you could apply it to a desk (naughty!!!), and when it was dry, you could roll it up and make a rubber ball with it. Plus, the ball bounced really high!
A few kids in my class liked to eat the white paste. Not me though, I swear! It’s probably a good thing that nobody ate the rubber cement.
Today I did one of my favorite Mrs. B projects with my little ones at school. It is not original, but it is simple, and super fun when you are little. It obviously made a big impression on me!
Thank you Mrs. B. I think of you often and hope I will make as lasting an impression on my little ones that you made on me. Without the lamb though…but I do have a few chickens.
PS. This post started out as an intro to a much-loved Mrs.B project, however it turned into its own tribute to Mrs. B. I will post the very simple project that inspired this memory in the next few days.