Sunday, November 23, 2014

4th Grade Art: A Tribute to My Mother

4th Grade Art: A Tribute to My Mother
Darrel L. Hammon

Yesterday, when I was going through a box of things we kept, I found a stapled group of drawings, most of them colored, that I must have given to my mother in 1967 when I was in fourth grade. I loved fourth grade. My teacher was Mrs. Jeppsen. She was tough and expected a ton from her students. For me, it sparked a light inside of me to do the best I could. Denece Miller and I used to vie for the top multiplication tables class champ. Some time in 4th grade, I must have done some drawings and art because, lo and behold, there were, all stapled together in a bundle with a big yellow tulip on the front. I suspect I didn’t draw it; it’s too perfect, but it looks like it did color it and even tried do a bit of shading.

Next came a poem titled, “Mother’s Ways.” I didn’t know where it actually came from. I did Google it and found it in a digitized copy of The Judge, Vol. 63 ( The sad part to this point is its direct references to death: “Don’t wait till after while…” and “Before she goes away."
A little sheet was stuck inside. It was a bunch of swirly lines in a snake-like method. I used various colors to make the lines.
Swirly lines

My girls have always wondered why I like to draw flowers in pots or in vases on every letter or card I sent to them. Well, here is origin to my fetish with flowers in pots or vases. Here is a very big pot with little tulips, red, orange, white, yellow, and purple. I remember learning that by writing a W and then drawing a half circle from the top of the first line in W around to the last point on the W, I could make a tulip, and poof: tulips. 
Blue pot with five tulips

I am sure if a psychologist had come to our class to analyze our pictures of the following, they probably would have diagnosed us with something serious. I titled this one "Two woman showing off their babies." I suspect it was our ink blot test.
Two women showing off their babies.

The Candle. In actuality, it is a cut-out version of a candle that I must have cut out from a drawing Mrs. Jeppsen gave us. I just colored it. When I saw the candle itself, I was pretty impressed. I had used a heavy dose of white with streaks of pink, purple, and gray.
The candle with black base

I had no idea what this one was until my cousin Colleen Hammon Poole from my Uncle Glen and Uncle Ethel's family clued me in when she saw it on Facebook. It appears that the spine is actually my name with its mirror image written in cursive. Go figure! I then took the cut-out piece of my name and placed it on a red piece of construction paper.

Does anyone remember doing this design? You took the paper with squares on it and then began coloring to create some sort of design. I loved doing type of thing.

This picture is an eclectic combination of what appears to palm trees, with a huge table, trying to hold up the sky full of stars. The little stick people and that cool looking dog—maybe my Mother’s dog named Trixie—are interesting. I have attempted to analyze this drawing, but it stumps me. I suspect that my 4th grade brain knew what it was--or at least I hope so.
Palms and stars

Ah….the ubiquitous bowl of fruit and vegetables. I think I got the colors right. I can recognize an apple (or is that a tomato?), a lemon, an orange, and a yellow squash. Dad loved to slice them and then dip them in egg batter, dip them again in flower, and then fry them. Who knows what the green thing is!? Perhaps, it is a pepper.
Bowl of fruit and vegetables

The big red flower is a poinsettia, I’m sure. I don’t think I drew this. As I look closer, I think someone else drew it, and I just colored it with big strokes of red. I have actually seen these in real life when Joanne and I were serving in the Dominican Republic and went on an excursion to the mountains of Jarabacoa.

I love playing army men, and this looks like one of our forts, replete with a big house where we had lunch and played games, our individual brown huts, and a huge fence that circle the fort with one gate. Note the army guys walking the yellow brick road. (I just hoped the flying monkeys didn't come.)
The Fort

I was intrigue by my underwater scene with lots of different seal life. The orange shark is definitely something drawn in. Who has ever seen an orange shark? Don’t you love all of those red jellyfish and their cousin who is orange and blue, the precursor to a Boise State fan, I suspect.

Then, there’s the black boat. If you look really close, I have named her “The Whaler.” I don’t remember reading Moby Dick in 4th grade. Check out the birds in the sky. I learned probably in 2nd grade that if you just made a cool-looking V, with one side of the V, shorter than the other, you instantly had a little bird.

I love the big black kettle and the 4th grade try at shading. Its handles are not uniform either, but I like that it has a top with a little spout of some sort.

The last colored drawing in my repertoire of 4th art is a large purple sack although it could be a fat vase with some drawings on it. I think, though, when I look close on this one, it must be a sack of some sort. Note the horizontal lines with slanted vertical lines drawn. I think those two marks depict oldness where someone had to sew the sack together. Also, note the draw string around the top. I placed the purple sack on a piece of black construction paper to capture the overwhelming purpleness of it all.
The sack!

All these eclectic pieces were stapled together with five stables in a non-uniform way, but they have held their prized possessions since 1967. A bit of knot rises in my throat to think my mother had saved this as one of her cherished possessions. I am glad she did. If I really squint and furrow my brow, I remember bits and pieces of doing the coloring. But I definitely remember Mrs. Jeppsen, and her pushing us to do better. 
Note the staples


Raylene Brown said...

The unknown picture looked to me like a manger scene compete with baby in a manger and stars, palm trees, and maybe your "dog" is a donkey.

Colleen/Grandma/Mom said...

What a fun find! It tells me that someday our "kids" will be glad I saved so much of their creative drawings. Nice summary tribute to your Mom--I remember Trixie and I remember your Dad's battered squash!