Jonalyn's Watercolor Blog

Savor Chocolate

There’s a reason I chose chocolate.

Teaching Tweens

This last semester I taught Creative Writing to a class of 15 junior highers. Our time crescendoed on a Parent’s Day when I paired each child/parent into teams and placed two matching Lindt chocolate truffles before them. Observe their chocolates and write your best words, I told them. Together they tried to outperform the other teams with the most memorable quartet of verse.

Cheering, laughing, vying with each other a the children shared their poems, I listened and marveled at the way these young people helped us all see and savor. Tween artists with ink, I wanted to savor this high point because I knew what was next.

Left with the Wrapper

The class would end. The parents would laugh and stand up to stretch, telling their children to collect their coats. The students might steal a smile at me before throwing out their wrappers, headed to the next class.

I would rub out the dry-erase board and think. I would try to gather these poems together, but in less than a week, several poems disappeared. They were lost to the wastebasket, to forgetfulness, to misplacement.

How to Remember

As a teacher, I can try to explain them. But what if I had recorded one of the poems, wouldn’t you rather experience? How would you describe a Lindt chocolate truffle? I saved one by Dale and F. Fincher for you to savor.

Twirling like a Nutcracker ballerina

when I tug at the ends.

Dancing on the table with a whirl of peppermint.

It is the artist who helps us see and savor. We need the sculptors and painters, the directors and editors to show us where to look. We learn to see from the artists.

If no one saves the memories, aren’t we quick to lose our stories, even the meaningful ones, to the wastebasket, to forgetfulness, to misplacement? Or worse, the propaganda machine will churn out memories for you.

Don’t your memories matter?

An Invitation to Remember Together

When I painted the COVID years, I knew that in a few years, most of our memories would fade away.

I’ve felt those powers pushing me to forget.

From 2021-2023, I studied other people’s stories. I chose the moments to frame and then I painted these stories for my art show “Saving Lives.” In July 2023, my art gallery opened in downtown Exeter, New Hampshire. Hundreds came through the exhibition, dozens left their written stories.

Now, with the help of my family, the premiere virtual gallery of this collection of 20 paintings is available for you to savor. The paintings of these times have been preserved, as much as a monument of the 2020 – 2023 years as a invitation to have mercy on ourselves and on others.

In a few weeks you can join me for the premiere, along with a question and answer time and a live auction. Can you think of a better way to spend January 27, from 7 – 8:30 pm?

Join me for the LIVE Premiere of “Saving Lives – the virtual watercolor exhibition.” Space is limited. Tickets can be purchased right here.




2 Responses

  1. Teaching the creative writing must have been fun. When I was teaching 8th grade, we got through the text before the end of school,so I did a creative writing segment for the last few weeks. The kids loved it and it was fun for me…

    1. The creative writing class was fun and taught me so many things, too! I’d love to hear more about what creative writing assignments worked best for you? I’m always adding to my ideas with my own boys. Thanks for writing in!

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