The Heart of Art | TeenInk

The Heart of Art

November 25, 2019
By FeliciaFanboy BRONZE, Culpeper, Virginia
FeliciaFanboy BRONZE, Culpeper, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Vannesa was a senior at her town’s high school and she loved to create many types of art. She was one of the best artists at her school, and she has won many awards and became nationally acclaimed. Her most famous painting was a yarn painting she made out of blue, purple and green string, which created a white skull with many different colored flowers settled behind it. All of those who saw it were in awe of its beauty. 

However, this happened two years ago, back when Vanessa was inspired and loved to create art. Since then, Vanessa’s parents have divorced, and she lost her family house she has lived in her whole life. Today, she lived with her mother in a townhouse in the rough area of town, since that was the only place her mother could afford. The house was across the street from the water treatment plant, and the smell of sewage permeated through the air constantly. Vanessa hated living there, as it gave her no artistic inspiration, and even dampered her love for art. Vanessa was in a slump.

She continued to take art classes at her high school with her art teacher, Mr. Rainer. Mr. Rainer was her favorite teacher at school, and she felt she could talk with him about anything. When her parent’s first divorced, Mr. Rainer pulled her aside after class one day and asked if her if she needed anything. Vanessa broke down in his office and explained her feelings to him, and they have had a special bond since that day. 

One day, Vanessa was in her art class and couldn’t think of anything to draw. Every time she thought she had a good idea, she became self-conscious of it, crumpled it up, and threw it in the trash can. Mr. Rainer came over to Vanessa if she needed help with any inspiration. 

“Mr. Rainer, I don’t know what to do anymore. Every time I finally come up with something to start to create, it just ends up looking bad, and I can’t even stand to look at it. I just have to throw it out.” Vanessa was on the verge of tears, she could see her classmates looking at her, with their face scrunched up in a laughing expression. 

“I’ll be here until around 7 today, for an art lecture I’m giving to those who are out of touch with their art, and those who need fresh ideas. I suggest you should come to it.” Mr. Rainer got up from Vanessa’s table and went to his chair at his desk. Vanessa thought about this lecture, and decided she should go to it. I have nothing better to do, she thought. 

She stayed in Mr. Rainer’s room until 7 p.m. when the meeting was supposed to start. She noticed, however, looking up from her phone, no one had arrived, even though it was the time the meeting was supposed to start. Mr. Rainer came into the room and saw that Vanessa was the only person there for the lecture, and seemed disappointed. 

“I knew that a lot of people weren’t going to show up to this thing. But I’m ok. At least I get to personalize it to you.” Mr. Rainer went up to the front of the classroom and began to speak to Vanessa about how art should be from the heart, and not just some doodles you do on a piece of paper. 

“If you have a moment that makes you feel strong emotions, consider capturing that moment on the canvas.” Mr. Rainer said passionately, and Vanessa knew exactly what he meant. He wanted her to paint the emotions she had been feeling since her parents had divorced. She began to tear up, with all of the painful emotions suddenly coming back. She thought back to the night where her dad walked out on her and her mom, leaving them behind to live on their own. She thought back to the day where they had to sell their home she had lived in for her entire life, just so her mother could put food on the table. She thought of the putrid smell of sewage that comes from her new home, and the sadness she had from living there. 

These thoughts caused Vanessa to jolt up from the table she had been sitting at, rush from the art room, past Mr. Rainer, and out the front doors to the school. She ran all the way home, crying about the rush of emotions she had just experienced, and bolted up the stairs to her room, and slammed the door behind her. But instead of laying down, she went, to the first time in a few months, to her sketch table she had set up in her room.

She painted with red, angry hues around her father, the blues to signify her and her mother’s sadness and depression, all set inside her family’s old home, where she learned and laughed and loved. For the first time in months, Vanessa enjoyed her art, caused by the pain she had felt over the past 2 years. She couldn’t wait to show Mr. Rainer her work she had done on this painting. 

She went to Mr. Rainer’s room the next day to show him the painting she had drawn, and he was floored by what he saw.

“Vanessa, I have never seen something so wonderfully powerful before in my entire life. You can feel the rage, sense the sadness, and overall, anyone who sees this can be put into your shoes. Vanessa, would you mind if I submitted this into a competition on your behalf?”

Vanessa looked at him and gave him a nod. For the first time in nearly two years, her work would be submitted into an art competition. She gave her painting to Mr. Rainer, who put it in a drawer in his desk, and he told Vanessa, “I’ll submit this during my planning. Vanessa smiled at Mr. Rainer, and went to sit at her desk, waiting for class to start. 

A couple of months went by, and Vanessa’s piece of her tragic family life was gaining traction not only in her community, but over the country, as well. Many people learned of Vanessa’s artwork, and began to make her offers of increasing monetary amounts to buy her various art pieces. She eventually received an offer she could not refuse, and sold her painting of that emotional night, which she eventually titled, “The Heart of Art”. 

With the money she received from the painting, she was able to buy back her old family house for her and her mom to live together. It needed a lot of work to get it back to where it was before, since most of the paint on the walls was chipping, but she knew that she and her mother could do it together.

The author's comments:

For this story, my Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Heidi Murphy, gave us an assignment called a scavenger hunt piece. For this assignment, we did a walk around the school and used many different things that we saw, smelled, and heard to create a comprehensive story, using senory imagery to capture the senses that we experienced. 

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