Paul Klee, Volleyball Graffiti, and a touch of Humble Pie

Hey guys. Yes, I totally missed Thursday, and yes, there was a sort of semi-reason behind that. The first reason is because I went to see STAR WAAAAAAARS! End of subject.

The second reason is that I forgot.

In my defense, art class is trying to kill me. No joke. But before we go on, I need one of you to explain something to me:


What is this?

And WHY did I have to paint it?

While kindergartners are off at the playground, happily painting their little trees, and first-graders are staring into their gerbil cages, painting… Well, let’s be honest, the first-graders are probably painting poop, and feeling monstrously pleased with themselves for it. BUT THE POINT IS, at least they’re painting SOMETHING.

What am I painting, you may ask?


Frankly, I’d rather paint poop.

Anyway, this month in art class, we’re studying the strange subject of modern art—AKA, the kind of art that was literally only created so that people with no talent can still feel good about themselves. (No offense to anyone who appreciates this kind of stuff.) Now, I know some of these guys are considered masters (*cough* Paul Klee), and I don’t want to criticize the masters, but…


I’m totally criticizing the masters.

THAT unholy abomination up there is NOT art. It’s a fraying volleyball that some kid drew graffiti eyes on with a red magic marker.

Just sayin’.

I’d be lying if I denied that some small part of my snowflake soul felt slightly ruffled when my art teacher announced that we would be painting frayed volleyballs. I’m an ARTIST, for pity sake. I want to paint a masterpiece, not… not this.


Not that I couldn’t paint it, because at the time, I believed I could paint anything. But frankly, I didn’t want to paint it. Who would? So I stuck my little artistic nose in the air and grumbled under my breath. Because THAT, my friends, is NOT art.



We’d been doing this kind of thing for a while, taking Klee’s artwork and replicating it, but last Monday, our teacher informed us that we would now be making up our own modern art. And I was like, pffffft, no biggie. Slap some paint on a canvas and claim that it invokes “depth”, and you’ve got modern art. I was still very insulted that she wouldn’t let me paint Isengard or Smaug or some other such thing that I had deemed worthy of my artistic prowess, but hey, I wasn’t about to let that get in the way of stunning the masses with my newfound talent for modern art.

I went around, looking at some of my classmate’s paintings, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say modern art looked any better on them than it did on Klee, there was some kinda cool stuff. And I was like, pfffffffffffffft, I can do better than that. Watch the master, folks.

I sat down, cracked my knuckles, and began.

(Now look, I know this narrative is painting me (HA, pun intended) as an INCREDIBLY narcissistic, arrogant person, but really, that’s not the case. I don’t actively go around thinking I’m better than everyone else. But SOMETIMES, when you’re stuck in a class of sixteen people, only a few of whom actually want to be there, and you’ve just completed a masterpiece of Arwen, and the teacher hands you a painting that looks like five-year-old scribbles and says it’s a thousand-dollar work of art, SOMETIMES your head gets the best of you. Such was the case with… someone.)

Half an hour into it, the strangest thing happened. It was so strange, it took me a while to process it. Even now, I’m having a hard time comprehending. As I sat there, painting studiously, I realized a groundbreaking realization:

I cannot do modern art.

Shocking, I know.

While the three other girls at my table had cool inverted trees and these splashy rainbow things, I had…


Yes, the white lumps are glue.

Don’t ask.

I have devised a helpful chart so that you can better understand what everything represents.



Please appreciate how embarrassing this was.

And still is.

My art teacher went around our table, scrutinizing everyone’s work and offering comments such as, “Wow, Abby, that’s beautiful,” or “Very nice, Jillian. Lovely shade of green,” or, “Zoe, you have very cool composition here.”

There are only four people sitting at my table. It was very obvious that she skipped me.

I would have skipped me too.

So I went home, where the balm of familial affection washes away the sting of failure and shame, and showed my pathetic picture to my family.

Anna fell off her chair laughing.

Mom said, “Oh. Uh… Well!”

(And then later, when she was reading over this blog post, proceeded to cackle insanely and go, “What in the world? This is the worst lookin’ thing…”)

Dad politely suggested I name it “Humility”.

I have done so.

Moral of the Story: Don’t try modern art. Your faith in your artistic talents will be sorely shaken.


PS. I bet you ten bucks my mother will comment something about bigheads. Just watch.


28 thoughts on “Paul Klee, Volleyball Graffiti, and a touch of Humble Pie

  1. Dear. You ARE an incredibly arrogant narcissistic person. 😁

    You walked (ran) (boldly) right into that one and I certainly wasn’t about to let the opportunity pass. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *petulant huff* I am NOT!

      Yes yes, I know. You can’t help yourself. But I make up for it by seizing every opportunity to do the same thing to YOU, so I suppose we’re even. 😘


  2. Good. GRAVY. This is golden. XD
    The THINGS! people DO!
    I loved your helpful chart. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in days. Very helpful, too, ’cause I hadn’t been able to tell what those were meant to be beforehand. *sage nod*


    1. Neither could the rest of us…but Anna did give it a shot at least. After she picked herself up off the floor, she said that she thought the yellow blot/plop/fail looked like throw-up…😁


        1. You know, I think the inside of the purple blot/plop/fail kinda looks like a smiling frog face.

          You’re welcome. 😁


            1. Just to be clear-er, on your very helpful chart is the word “fail” with an arrow pointing to the purple…blot …thing…πŸ€” Oh wait, is that supposed to be blue..?


  3. Loved the post XD. Your art is amazing to me; I couldn’t even do THAT well at modern art. And I COMPLETELY AGREE: modern art could be painted by anyone, has no aesthetic value, and is basically not art. Except maybe for a few sundry examples I haven’t seen before.

    My dad told me that modern art is basically a super highbrow secret language that only the very intelligent and versed can ever manage to decipher. Not falling into that category, I generally try to lampoon it at every possible opportunity like the lowbrow pseudo-academic that I am.

    Oh, and top marks on the helpful chart. I would never have realized what you were drawing otherwise. The main thing I like about that particular picture is the sheer interpretive variety you added by way of the chart. I think it should be hung in a museum; better still, the same kind of explanation should be added to modern art displays all over the country. It would be a great improvement.

    Anyways, your chart has now made my day. πŸ™‚


    1. I’ve got to say, I almost died laughing while reading this. All of it. Seriously. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      “My dad told me that modern art is basically a super highbrow secret language that only the very intelligent and versed can ever manage to decipher.”

      Well gee, I feel so much better. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, yeah, real complement there. But I don’t consider myself an UTTER moron…*thinks that over*…well, scratch that, but ANYWAY, point being, I don’t understand it either, so don’t take it personally. (Which is, of course, what people say when they are making a remark that is obviously meant to be taken personally. But oh well.)

        Well, don’t die QUITE yet, because that would be a waste of talent!! But I’m quite flattered that you liked it. It took me long enough to write…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I sympathize with your distress concerning the recent aesthetic opinions of humanity. I honestly do. When I was in tenth grade, my assignment was at one point to go to an art museum, pick a piece, and write a report about it. It was a modern museum, and so I had a tough decision to make. Most of what I saw didn’t look like art. I only remember seeing two things that I had any appreciation for. And I’m a writer who likes to write about beautiful things. It’s too bad how upsetting today’s art can be. In the words of Mr. Gibson, β€œWell, HOW can I say this nicely??!”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha ha! This is great Sarah! And thank you for the advice to never try modern art. I do not like failing, and therefore shall take into consideration this wonderful piece of advice from a master painter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, that was a very interesting and informative story about modern art and failure. I have never liked modern art, and now I feel justified in my dislike by the cruelty it has exerted over my poor arwen painting friend. Nice post Sarah. I know that I couldn’t paint anything, much less modern art, so good work anyway πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Come to think of it, modern art DOES seem to be a bunch of mumbo-jumbo doesn’t it?
    Personally, *I* like it! *dodges flying tomatoes* It’s abstract! I would imagine somebody would paint things like that to mean something to themselves. Other people don’t have to get it. Art is just a form of expressing oneself, no matter how confusing and weird the results are.
    Oop… I just did a little artist’s lecture… Sorry!!!!!
    Oh, and I’m new to your blog. Hi!! (Recognize me?)


    1. *flings tomatoes* How dare you disagree with me on my blog! Go to your room.


      Okay, okay, stick around. Nice seeing you here, Dekreel! (Even if you do disagree with me…)


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