Heron Overlooking The Pond This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My first acrylic painting started as an idea from a magazine photograph. In the photograph there was a pond with a layer of grass above it. Beyond were trees, lots of trees. Then sky above that. A basic landscape.

As I painted what I saw, I realized that it was not me. I wanted my painting to be more than just another landscape. I wanted to add a part of me to my art work. In all of my art classes I'd learned about paintings and how they describe aspects of the painters' lives. There is always a story behind a good piece of art. All I thought was How does a group of trees beside a pond describe me?

I continued to paint what I saw in that photograph. I painted the pond, which came out well as did the grass. When I started to paint a tree, I realized that I was no Bob Ross. All my "happy little trees" turned out looking half dead. I never really understood the skinny trunk, small leaves concept. I cut the trees out of my painting. Then my painting consisted only of the sky, grass, and a pond.

Not a bad landscape, but how did it describe me? I added more detail. The clouds stood out more, the grass actually looked like grass. I added seaweed coming out of the pond, with its reflection in the water. It turned out to be a good landscape painting. I still thought it was boring; I needed a focal point, one that would describe me and interact with the painting.

Then it hit me - my grandmother always described me as a heron, with long legs and a skinny body. Whenever she said, this I would respond jokingly that I have no beak. I painted a heron by the side of the pond with its reflection in the water. At last it was finished!

My art teacher talked me into putting it in the art show. I was nervous, but I couldn't think of any reason not to. It was a good painting. Though I didn't win any awards or medals for my painting, it was an honor for me just to see it in a hallway with all the other "masterpieces." I realize that putting my time into this painting is why it has special value to me. Seeing my painting hanging there reminds me of my grandmother's loving name for me. Just knowing that my picture had been chosen for others to see and for them to share in the good feelings it brought to me, I now know how artists feel when they share their work with others. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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