I enjoy seeing the world as a watercolor pallet with the blended colors of the seasons. Whether it is the white of the snow and a sudden streak of red from a Cardinal flying by, or the beautiful colors of the fall leaves, my pallet moves me. My life is like a rough draft of sketched lines that aren’t defined until I make them permanent, and the way I see the world is due to my grandma, Nanan. She is still the fuel to my imagination, and I am still the artist of my own masterpiece.
I remember the smell of the office where Nanan and I would do arts and crafts for hours on end. The way the crayons smell filled the air, and the paper – slightly stained from age – would crinkle under the pressure of us drawing. The laughter and the lessons she taught me through those hours upon hours of scribbling were life-changing.
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She taught me how to make friends and not to be disappointed when things don’t go my way. She would comfort me through coloring and talking to me. She was the only one that could really calm me down and have me accept the things that would happened.
Nanan passed away six years ago and it was hard to accept that she died when I never got a chance to say goodbye. The only way she still lives in my heart is because I never gave up drawing: The reason I never turned off my imagination was because I knew it was the only connection I had left with her. It was to be the only way I could feel close to her since she couldn’t hold me in her arms.
Throughout the years I continued to draw how I felt. I started out with impersonal scenery and now to drawing my own characters. I give my characters a story, a life, and the excitement of color. Drawing may take hours for me with starting over or carefully detailing the creation in the making. That also is like life; if one has the patience to allow time to consume, one can make his own painting, one can make life the way it could be.
The joy that fills me when I put pencil to paper and when I get an idea in my head is unimaginable! I feel nothing can stop me when I am drawing; I feel at peace when I sketch. When I come home from a tough day at school, I sketch and I feel calm as if I was in Nanan’s arms again. The warmth that fills me, the silence that surrounds me are the same when I was with her.
Now, I feel at home when I am at my desk and in my mind drawing the ideas that linger in the rift between my imagination and pencil. Ideas that will soon express who I am will soon come to life on paper. I feel free and have a sense of accomplishment when the creation that I draw comes out the way I pictured it. And if it doesn’t, then I am not bothered by it; I find it a joy to find my own mistakes and have the chance to make it better. I find that it is similar to having a second chance to redo a piece of my life. Art is my connection to my Nanan. I give thanks to her for striking the match of creativity and setting fire to my imagination. It was she that made me see the world as a watercolor pallet. It’s thanks to her that I can escape into my art and feel comforted by it.