My True Story- The Death of An Artist


I have always wanted to draw

I have always wanted to put lines and color together

and have them tell a story

I have always wanted to be an artist.


But one day

when I was 7 years old

my teacher took a look at a picture I was painting and she cried,

” What is the matter with you? Are you doing this on purpose? All you had to do was paint a tree. How hard is it

to paint a tree? I showed you how. ”


She pointed to the chalkboard where she had drawn a perfect tree for us to copy.

It was indeed a beautiful tree.


I stood there in my oversized shirt with flowers on it- my first and only artist’s ” smock ” and looked at my painting of a cat with fangs and devil’s horns. It wasn’t like the tree on the chalkboard or even close to the ones my classmates had painted and I was pretty sure it was not beautiful.


” It told me it wanted to be a Cat. With fangs. And horns. ” I said pointing to the obvious mistake I had created at my easel.  ” Not a tree. It did NOT want to be a tree.”


She pulled the brush out of my hands, grabbed my arm and marched me back to my seat and made me sit down in it.



” Don’t ever do that again.”


And I didn’t.


I never painted or drew my own pictures again because they never seem to want to be anything close to what I was expected to produce. They have ideas of their own.


Instead I write stories with Fangs and horns and sometimes they have a cat’s face and they can be exactly who they want to be.


Lines and colors kept safe in words on a page.




Daily Addictions Prompt: Refuge

7 thoughts on “My True Story- The Death of An Artist

  1. Similarly, I was told that art was for dummies and not allowed to continue – at 11. Last year, I signed up for painting lessons and after only two the tap opened again and I haven’t stopped. I am now 60. Don’t give up on yourself.

  2. I want to march you back to that desk and tell you to paint whatever you want to!!! Stories are great. Keep writing them. But get out the pencils and paint as well…

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