Palms on a Prairie, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5" x 7"
Today's Palms on a Prairie look like kids in a school yard at recess. I'm thinking of kids today, because I'm going to get one. Teenagers are one of the most underutilized segment of our population. Their brains are passing through a unique stage, but if you can connect and direct, they can be a great resource.
I started work early in life--at age 12, in the summer following my father's death. My mother felt it was very important for us to learn to swim well, so she apprenticed me to a swimming teacher. Three mornings a week I would organize games on the beach for one group of kids while the swim instructor took another group into the water, then we'd switch.
Child labor? In addition to learning to swim well, I received $1 a day for my efforts, and learned a lot about taking responsibility. That experience later gave me a leg up getting a job as a camp counselor, much preferred over the job of packing fish (the scales, the smell!) that was the first employer of much of Gloucester's youth.
It's time to get a studio assistant again. This time I'll get a teenager. For a few hours a week at a very reasonable cost, I'm going to have a young person help me with some of the jobs I've neglected. We'll start with a shopping bag full of news articles and announcements about my work. It's ugly, very ugly, but someone who is organized and likes scrap booking should have a ball. If this works out, we'll move on to cataloging my paintings, a job I've neglected far too long. Toning canvases may be next!
Maybe our generation can help the next generation in getting a leg up. We all have computer issues that they are really good at. Build confidence, get a kid!