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Writing Wednesday: Art Class

On the first day of school, Brie finds out that she shares all of her classes with Willow. Some of the classes for senior year are easier than others. One that Brie has been sort of looking forward to is the art class. She wants to be an artist, and there’s only one beginner class at Santa Cruz Witch Academy where she can practice her skills. But Willow doesn’t have any formal art training. Find out what happens in this excerpt from The Daring Witch.

First Day of School

After chem was World Literature, which was by the book. Economics was only interesting because Damian was there and his jokes lightened any dull subject. Then I went to the school’s only art class, a very basic course that tried to span everything from drawing to computer graphics. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to learn anything new, but it was good to keep my skills from rusting. It was hard to find enough time for my art outside of class. And for our final project, we’d paint a new mural somewhere on campus.

Willow’s eyes widened when she saw the art studio with paint stains on the floor and artwork decorating the walls. “I’m not sure why I’m here,” she said, shrinking back from the door. “I’m not really… creative.”

The real reason was that my patron—and hers—had made the administration put her in all my classes, but I didn’t think that was a reassuring thing to say. I smiled and pointed at the brightly colored supplies. “Just think of it as a break from all the left-brained classes. You can have fun in here.”

Her eyes darted to me. “But I’m terrible at this. Won’t I get a bad grade?”

I shook my head. “Grading doesn’t work the same in art class. If the teacher sees that you’re trying your best, then you’ll be fine. Watch, I’m sure they’ll explain it all.”

Like I’d promised, the teacher was a bubbly human woman who launched into a rambling lecture about exploring creativity through our inner child. In order to help us tap into our sense of play, she asked us to remember our earliest experiences with art. And then she pulled out kindergarten-style finger paints and plastic smocks.

Willow laughed in surprise, but she poked at the finger paints. “They feel cold,” she said, scrunching up her nose.

“Yup,” I said, reaching over and putting a dot of blue on her nose.

“Hey!” She retaliated with a glob of red that dripped down my cheek and landed on my white uniform shirt. “Oh! I’m sorry, will it stain?”

I shook my head. “Don’t worry, we have lunch next, so we’ll have time to change. And this is kids’ paint. It’s meant to clean up easily.”

We smeared the gooey liquids with our bare hands. Each of us had a sheet of paper almost as large as we were. I blended my colors until I had a rainbow arcing across the page. Willow made a lumpy red house with a yellow sun above it.

“That’s cute,” I said, nodding to her painting as we hung them up to dry on racks in the back. “Did you have fun?”

Willow blushed, ducking her head. “Yeah, that wasn’t so bad. This looks like a little kid made it.”

The art teacher smiled. “That’s the idea. I look forward to seeing what else your inner child has to show us.”

Willow mumbled her thanks and rushed out of the studio, but I saw a smile hinting in the corners of her mouth. She lifted her head a little higher as we walked back to the dorms.


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