Since my teenaged years, I have been used to being recognized by people I don't know. It has sometimes been disconcerting when 'strangers' have spoken who seem to know me -- usually it has been a student from a class or lecture I've given, sometimes a watercolor workshop participant, or even sometimes a person (of extremely good taste) who has bought a painting over the last 40 years. But sometimes none of those! This summer, it was not me or my paintings which were recognized!
Each year, I am pleased to be asked to show several paintings at the art show which accompanies the last of the free summer concerts in a small town nearby. (They are taking giant steps in their growth with careful planning for business, green space AND the arts.) As I hung my work in the assigned space and began to place the title cards, I heard, "Oooh, these are beautiful. Who is your teacher?" Then a little silence and " Oh, you are Annette Bush. You don't have a teacher." I wasn't sure what she meant.
After the concert, the artists came to remove their work. I again heard my name and turned to find a friend and former student. One of her paintings was an older (I know because it was dated on the front) watercolor of luscious watermelon slices. It looked as fresh and juicy as any good watercolor. She had asked if I remembered that she had done it in my class almost 10 years ago. She said, " When are you going to teach again? I miss class."
My friend Randy often quotes, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." As if teaching is some kind of badge of dishonor . . . . I was pleased to recognize the teacher still in me.