Blue and a bunch of other kids in Sue Silverstein’s art room were painting when Jon and I got to the Bishop Maginn School yesterday. Even after the announcement came over the loudspeaker, that school was over for the year, many of the kids stayed in the room, finishing up a drawing or just hanging around talking to each other.
I asked Blue if I could take a video of her painting. I’ve never been a good painter, but I do like to watch other artists paint. And Blue is an artist through and through.
She only started drawing and painting a year ago, so you can see how talented she is. She has a natural instinct for using the materials. But also wants to learn.
She and Sue told me how in her first attempt at drawing the hands on the woman she’s painting in the video, she made them too small. Then she made them too big. It took a few tries to get them just right.
Blue can also talk about her art. When Jon asked her where she gets her ideas from, she said they come from inside her.
Blue told me that she has a dark side and gets angry a lot. Her sketch book has its share of gruesome drawings, helping her express those feeling. But, as with her paintings, there are also the beautiful girls, most of them based on Zodiac signs, surrounded by flowers, a symbol of life in her culture, and stars.
Blue told me that drawing and painting calms her, and painting beautiful things make her feel better. The painting in the video is a representation of the earth. The girl will have blue hair like the water and a green dress like the earth. With stars and flowers everywhere.
Before they came to America, many of the refugee girls at the school thought that all American girls were princesses, dressed in flowing gowns and living in castles, because all they knew about the United States was what they saw in a few Disney movies.
Blue told me how disappointed she was when she got here, then went to a public school where she was bullied. She told me that, since coming to Bishop Maginn and learning to draw, she’s less angry than she used to be.
Despite our many differences, I found it easy to talk to Blue. It’s the art thing, we just understand each other.
Jon and I dropped off two bags full of art supplies, donated by the Army of Good, so Blue can draw and paint at home over the summer. He also raised money to buy Blue and her family some basic needs, they have very little and have a hard time buying simple things like clothes and soap.
Jon has already sold three or four of Blues paintings on his blog. And now she has another one for sale. It’s $50 and you can email Jon at [email protected] if you’re interested in it.