Make It Pretty

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

Art is not something I’ve always excelled at. Let’s just say I’m artfully challenged. Sketching impaired. Watercolorphobic. When art classes came around in school, I was too busy nibbling the erasers and licking the paste to really pay a lot of attention to focal points, shading, and blending. I thought I was art challenged, that is, until I realized Art Class came at 2:30, and I was just hungry.

So, for my Make it Pretty badge, I made sure I had a tummy full of …

pita chips and homemade hummus before I sharpened those pencils. I was starting off on the right foot this time. I lined up my beautiful white paper and my stack of colored pencils, wiped off a smudge of stray, wayward, hummus from my chin, and I was set. I donned my best garb for the occasion, complete with Tiffany’s crown, necklace, and bracelet, and began channeling Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Then I had another flashback to Art Class. That blank, white page! It was mocking me. It seemed to grow blanker and whiter the more I stared at it. I thought I saw the edges creep up and beckon me a bit; as if to say, come on … draw something … I dare you!

The pencils weren’t any better. They kept escaping like prisoners from Alcatraz. One would roll off the table, while another would scamper, willy-nilly, the other direction. Where was my Cerulean Blue? My Mustard Seed Yellow? My Garnet Red rolled right into the heater vent, and then I had to go get my tools and perform a rescue, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Chilean miners.

But back to my art. I like saying that. Like, I’m afraid I don’t have time for that, dear! My art, you know! My art cannot wait! I am an artist!

Well, sorta. My paper was still whiter than snow. I drew a hesitant line down the middle. What was I drawing, you might ask? Well, you’ll be the first to know. After me, that is.

I drew a second line. Then a third. A circle. Well, kind of a circle. More like an egg. Then I had it! Eggs! Chickens!

I brought the hens in. A lovelier group of models you have never seen. They clucked and preened and sat pretty. Paisley, especially, was happy to be in the spotlight. She mugged for me, and posed, and puffed out her feathers, as if she were the Tyra Banks of poultry. (I really need to get this hen into 4H). Toile gets a bit shy in social situations, so she mostly pecked around, scratching at the rug and trying to eat my pencils. Typical Toile.

After an hour, I looked down at my page. Well, it was a bit … modern art, shall we say? I mean, I can use a little more practice on my proportions, and perhaps I got carried away with too many colors (she looks a bit like the love child between a hen and a peacock), but all in all, I was pretty pleased. And I totally showed that blank, white page who was boss. How do you like me now, Blank White Page?

Hmmm, I thought so.

  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    I love the ways MBA Jane tackles the job. What an inspiration for me! I too am art challenged. But now I’ll try harder.

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