I very much enjoyed the Christmas Carol Project. I loved being able to choose what would reflect my creativity and love for the book. In my drawings, I tried to portray the Ghosts with warmth but mystery and Scrooge as cold and dead but later joyful and alive. I also wove in the spirit of Christmas throughout the book with Christmas trees,  little bows, and silver stars. I wrote about each picture, pouring my thoughts of the book onto the page. I was glad to read the book and reflect its humor, pain, and joyous living through my book of pictures and writing.
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I wrote my Dickens sentence model following the example in A Christmas Carol. I wrote it with a warm, tender family and people they did not know, but loved, “coming in.” It was very challenging to get into the rhythm of the way all the sentences flowed together and where the commas should go, for I am the Queen of forgetting commas! I enjoyed learning how to write like Dickens with the language and the long, descriptive sentences.


Dickens Model

    In came Mamá with a pearly candle in hand, and went up to my cozy red room, and made a gay parade of it, and twirled like Chinese parasol dancers with one hundred graceful spins. In she came, one light beam in her vast dark eyes. In came the three white angels, shuffling and sweet. In came the kitten whose petite lick gave off a cozy feeling. In came the wishing winter wind that wafted up the nostrils of the occupants of the room. In came the poor man, with his young daughter, the seller of white flowers. In came the smell of rich meat, with hints of something peppermint green, mint jelly. In came the daddy from his back breaking job, that paid little and made him sad; trying to hide his clear river tears before he opened the blue lip of the small house in a bad neiborhood but one, who watched his friends bloody faces mashed into the ground. In they all came, one after another, some timidly, some delightedly, some elegantly, some deliciously, some crying, some wafting; in they all came, simply and beautifully. For they all came with love.    
 
I wrote my "This I Believe" essay because I wanted to portray my profound love of art and rich color. I portrayed in my piece how art has changed me. I would be empty without it dancing in my eyes and showing up whereever I look. I was inspired by visiting museums and gazing at Frida Kahlo paintings and Richard Avedon photographs for hours, just being free, letting the art soak through me. Also, I was inspired by my Grana’s artwork. In my writing piece, I portrayed how art changed me. While writing this piece I learned who I was, and I found myself through art.



I Know Why Dying Flowers Bloom in the Artist’s Hand


The blues of Georgia O’Keefe’s clouds seep into each other revealing strokes fluid and distinct. As blue as eyes, the sky gleams, clouds float fluffy and white like satin sheets. I can feel them in my fingers and sealed over my body like a freshly licked envelope. As the clouds disappear into the distance, the blues and whites fall like rain in the palm of my hand, blending and transforming my own strokes to paper.

    I watch my Grana’s strokes, dots, and textures intensely. I follow every wiggly rattle snake, pink tulip, red rose, little bumble bee, pointy cactus, bottle cap heart, or “year of the black man” face, painted on bones she retrieves from her farm.  Everything is done flawlessly, without a thought; she just starts. My Grana’s painting of a bleeding heart cries her blood; it drips in beautiful swirls of deep reds: rose red, the brick red of the earth, the red of wine, and the red of her blood.  I am happy that she invites me inside her scarred and complicated heart. We drink jasmine tea, and I see and understand her soul. She opens in a way that she can never speak of. I truly know her through her art.

    Richard Avedon’s photographs portray a beauty that I have never seen captured by the human eye. The portraits he takes capture wrinkled faces with bags under the eyes, the simplicity of a young woman, her black hair tied back in a knot, or the kindness and complexity of a homeless man with no one left to love him. The black and white photographs are hung on the walls of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, my source of inspiration. Grana’s farm overlooking the red earth of North Carolina is also my pull into a new world filled with magic and no judgment. The setting of glowing trees, yellow like they were dipped in the sun or the setting of the city overflowing with abstract people, brings excitement to naive me and a source to find myself through art.

    Jean Michele Basquiat draws with yellows from the sunset and crazy colors like wacky characters! His mind and art are so different from what my caramel eyes have ever seen before. There is a childish way about everything he paints, yet his work ties together in a tight package, the brown paper bulging art, art, art! When I see his work, I see a free mind, pained, but free.

    Frida Kahlo paints with the spices of españa and beautiful colors that weave and work together to form something rich with life and heartache; it takes my breath away. There is a clarity to every flower, self-portrait, tear, and drip of sadness. She has an eye for beauty, an eye that sees something more than what is.

    I see these paintings and photographs, dissecting them to truly see them. I look so close I can read the intentions of the artist. I see the strokes of the wooden paintbrush, a chalk pencil, or a camera that captures feelings in the lens.  By observing art and people, my creativity is set free. It’s like a whole new world has opened up to me, and life seems so much more worth living. I feel like I have been changed when I see art, art that is expressed in any way. Art can be expressed in any way, whether it is paint on canvas, old photographs, graffiti, birthday cards, fashion, music, dance, trees, flowers, and words that fit together so elegantly. Art is everywhere I look.

    I now know why dying flowers bloom in the artist’s hand. They embrace the glowing sun and let the color deepen through their roots; they transform to be rich and alive. I feel my inner red rose blossoming, and I know I am truly living; my creativity has been set free.

 


 


My poem is called “Beautiful like Red Roses.” I wanted it to reflect on what true beauty is. The poem is about the beauty that is often forgotten and left behind. It is about defining the riches of life in their truest form and deepening beauty to realize it is all around. It was hard for me to get the words flowing, but later I was inspired by my mother’s sonnet book with a ruby red ribbon in the middle and glowing like sunrays. As I read the poems, I wanted mine to be visual and portray a beauty that is rarely seen. Parts of this poem I dug out from inside of me.  I don’t really know where it came from.



Beautiful Like Red Roses

How’s something beautiful truly defined?
Beauty hides in small drops of crystal dew,
On the red roses, being tossed behind,
Beauty hides in whispers of wind, like few.


Beauty is in a person’s inner soul
As if it was beautified with makeup
Silver moon and red rose petal filled bowl
Glitters and radiates the heart’s breakup.


Beauty is hard to find, but if you know
Then you can feel how far, deep down it twists
And turns you into a green vine that grows
Running like oceans, on your skin, it mists.

True beauty, like red roses, sweet as crème
And glowing like a deep red wine sunbeam.
 

My poem is about who I am, who am I? The truth is, I don’t really know. I wrote the poem to reveal what kind of girl I think I am and the faces, and sounds that describe a person I don’t know, I don’t even know if the poem is about me anymore. It is a collage of different people, I wish I was. I experimented with the format and tried to make it scattered, like my jello brain.  I conclude the poem by saying I will never change and I won’t, I want to be all of these things. By the end of my poem I realized who “I” was, even if it is not me. I found myself in a sea of orange fish and silver waters. I am glad to have found myself in the deep blue sea, through my words at least. I am who I am, a collage of people for the moment, until I am truly, not lost at sea on my pea green boat



Who am i?


Why do you look at me so?
With brown eyes
As if I am different.
I am no different from you.
My eyes are caramel,
My hair smells of peppermint
And my blouses of ocean mists,
            


But

 
My hair goes
            Poof
            Boung
            And puff
My lips go
            Crazy red
            Then the deep red of blood
            Then,
Thin as a lonely spinster
And cold as ice.
        My body goes
                    Wiggly or stick strait
                    Dancing like a blind fury bird
                    As if unaware of what is attractive.
        My mouth goes
                    Chirp, chirp, chirp
                    Then,
                    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh
                    I never know what to say.
        My purse goes
La di da da
La di da da
                    Velvet and Lined of pearls
        We go
                    Badabapa
                    Clackity cloom
                    We hold each other’s
Different colored hands
And celebrate our differences.
Like red roses blow kisses
To pokey thorns.

Why do you look at me so?
With brown eyes
As if I am different.
I am no different from you.
My eyes are caramel,
My hair smells of peppermint
And my blouses of ocean mists,

But


I am who I am
And you are you
My life is like a windy and twisty vine
Thick,
Blossoming with small white gardenias.
I will never change for your brown eyes.

            



                    
                    


                                        
 

  
My photostory is a series of hand made pictures and my voice overlays with the drawings.  It is for Whirligig, a book by Paul Fleischman. I drew a pale face and yellow hair to represent the protagonist, I drew the conflict, the whirligigs, for the rising action, the denouement with the gleaming sun rays shinning on the main character, and the theme to show love of life. I loved expressing my love for the story through hand made art. Although, there were some difficult elements to the project, and Mrs. Gates knows what I mean! Putting the pictures on the computer and incorporating it with technology was dreadful at first, but I am now very pleased with how it turned out. I learned how to use the very technical program, but add my handmade flair to it. I love the way my own pictures flow with the words and paint the picture of the book that I wanted to be portrayed.