Looking at this jar of sunflowers reminded me of being in art class. I loved taking art in school. I could not draw, but that didn't stop me from loving art class until I hit the 8th grade and had a woman teacher (her name escapes me at the moment). She was big on drawing and I couldn't draw. Day after day after day of drawing and she would return my papers with D's on them. I kept hoping we'd move on to something else, but no, she was a drawing person.
Then the day came when we walked in the room and every table had big huge vases of sunflowers on them. Our assignment that week was to draw what was in front of us. We would be doing this for a week -- draw what is in front of you. As the week wore on, the sunflowers drooped more and more and we kept drawing them in their stages. What a long week! In her class, there was no talking whatsoever. Just a long hour of drawing droopy sunflowers.
At the end of the week, the teacher gave a speech to the class about how disappointed she was in all of us. In fact, there was only one person who actually "saw" what was in front of them. Oh great, I thought, here comes another D. But I was the one person! Her complaint: nobody else put stems on the sunflowers for the leaves to come off of. I did. My first A. For dead sunflowers. Of course, her little comment on the paper was to the effect that I needed much more training and practice in drawing -- I still wasn't good at drawing -- but she gave me the A because I did try to capture what I saw.
I was very glad when she left the following year and we got a man teacher who thought art was all about being fun and creative and you had four different mediums to work in. And drawing wasn't one of them.