"Cleaning After Battle" by Noelle Brooks

“Cleaning After Battle” by Noelle Brooks

Alright, I have finally finished coloring my gryphon picture here at 1:55 in the morning and decided to post it. This illustrates my story, The Horse From the Woods, so please read and comment on it if you have not done so already.

For all of you wondering about the “Mr. Stein Incident”…I shall tell you about it.

I am currently taking Art Techniques II with Mr. Stein at Central Campus, 5th hour and we are currently finishing up our gesture drawing, shape people done with oil pastels. When we finish our oil pastel drawings, we are to look for a reference picture so we can draw a picture for our next assignment, and although I am not finished with my oil pastel drawing yet, I already knew what picture I wanted to use for my next assignment. It was on Wednesday, February 5, 2007 that I took my gryphon picture, that I had drawn the night before, up to Mr. Stein and asked him if I could use it for my next assignment.

“Where is your reference picture?” he asked me.

“Reference picture? Well, I didn’t use a reference picture” I replied.

“Oh really? You mean you already knew the anatomy of the wings and all?” He looked to me as his voice grew louder. I could feel the eyes of some of my classmates glancing upon me. “I want to see what you looked at when you drew this. What did you look at to draw the claws?”

I stuttered, as I didn’t know how to respond. “I-I didn’t use anything. I just kind of drew it from my mind.”

He stared at me for a bit before he replied. “Then, no. You can’t use it unless you show me your reference picture.”

I angrily returned to my desk, farthest in the back and placed my drawing on my desk. Suddenly, the memory of when I had shown my drawing to my father this morning, flashed through my head. “I have seen this picture before, Noelle. You copied it.”

“No, this is a re-draw of a picture I drew a year ago.”

“No, you traced this. This isn’t your picture!” There were now two who did not believe my capabilities and doubted my words, and one was my own father.

After working on my pastel drawing until the end of class, I thought of an idea. What if I just brought in a picture of some random eagle head and claimed it was my reference picture? Perhaps then I could use my drawing. I returned to Mr. Stein’s desk with my gryphon in my hand. “So what exactly do you want me to bring in tomorrow?”

“Just bring in your reference picture; what you looked at when you drew it.”

I stared at my teacher with a blank face trying to figure out what to say next. I realized that if I did bring in some random picture the next day, it would show that I was lying when I told him that I had drawn it without looking at anything, so I contemplated over what to say next to convince him. “But, I didn’t-”

He suddenly cut me off. “Fine, then come in tomorrow and draw it in front of me without looking at anything.”

I quickly thought it over through my mind before agreeing. “All right. I’m not finished with my oil pastel, though.”

He shrugged with a look of doubt before I turned to leave as the bell rang. As I left the art room, I thought of how odd it was. My art teacher did not believe that I drew this picture without looking at anything. I realized that my picture wasn’t even that good, but oh well. With a sigh, I thought that it should be easy because I have already drawn it once. The only problem was that it took me two hours to draw the original and I would get about fifty-five class minutes to draw in front of him. I felt nervous as I continued on to band class, almost dreading the next day, but I did want to prove him wrong. I seriously wanted to kick Mr. Stein in the head just then.

As I entered the art room the next day, I sat at the desk right beside Mr. Stein’s desk instead of my assigned seat farthest away from him. “Is this all right?” I asked him.

“Sure, whatever,” he replied as he walked past me. I could see that he didn’t actually expect me to do it. I pulled out a blank piece of paper and my mechanical pencil and began with the sketch. A few minutes after I had started, Mr. Stein stood behind me, watching over my shoulder. There was a smile on his face as he tapped my desk and said, “Show me when you are done with it,” and retreated to his computer.

Throughout the class hour I sketched nervously as Mr. Stein would walk by every now and then. He tapped and spoke only twice saying, “Nice work,” and “I’m impressed.” As the end of the class hour drew near, my hand shook nervously. I was almost finished with fifteen minutes of class left. I worked my pencil about my paper frantically as people stared and wondered why I was drawing a gryphon in my unassigned seat rather than working on my assigned project. I ignored the taunts from Bo, who watched as I drew and I was determined on finishing.

As I completed the last talon, I placed my pencil on the desk, released a tense sigh and walked to his desk. “I’m finished!” My hand trembled and shook either from weakness from drawing so fast, or from complete nervousness.

“Okay, now color it,” he stated bluntly.

“What?” I asked him in bewilderment. “I am still not done with my oil pastel,” I reminded him.

“Then work on that.” he replied before quickly turning and staring into the light of his computer screen.

With a little bit of discouragement now within me, I turned to retrieve my pastel drawing. Oh well, I thought to myself, at least I proved my abilities. He can’t say that I can’t draw it without a reference picture now. I admit that I left the art class that day disappointed, still with the want of kicking him in the head, (yes I am violent in my mind.) I intently studied my twin gryphons side by side as I passed through the hallways. Why did I have to prove myself to my teacher, my art teacher. Why hadn’t he believed me, and why did he make me draw it in front of him? Grr, it makes me mad as I type this, just as it did then.

Well, that was my amazing “Mr. Stein incident”, and I still want to kick him in the head! I should probably get to bed though…it’s 3:11. Any questions, please ask me!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.