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“CATHEDRAL”        PASTEL PICTURE  (18”x 22”)
by Tamara E. Schaffer 1969, Age 8

My daughter, Tami, and I had an artist’s table and setup for us from the beginning of her life! When she was tiny, she would watch me do silk screening in the unfinished part of our basement. She wanted us to do artwork together, so I set up a separate place with a low table and chairs and supplies easy to reach. It was a space near the wash tubs and dryer. We enjoyed making all kinds of artistic creations together.

One morning I went down to do some laundry, and there on the table was this picture. I gasped! Wow! How inspired! How heartfelt! How simple! How colorful! How emotional!

I was overwhelmed with emotion! Tami was at grade school, so I had to wait until she came home. I greeted her, and said, “Honey, I found your picture on the art table. When did you draw this? It’s beautiful! Will you tell me about it?”

I was and am always careful not to interpret others artwork. Let them tell me, if we wanted words! Artwork is a special language, and comes from the creators heart, and speaks individually to each viewer, I believe. Thus the message is unique and personal to each viewer.

We went to the basement, and she was a little shy. She would look at the picture, then up to me, and look at the picture again and, standing, rocking gently from side to side before she spoke. Then, pointing at various parts of the picture, she told me her story. Colors, design, subject, placement of lines and triangles, squares, and rectangles. Artist expression I would have never experienced on my own.

When she was finished talking, she looked up at me with a shy smile. I bent down and we had a long embrace. I thanked her so much for sharing her experience with me.

I said “Honey, this is exceptional work. Would it be ok if we would have this framed?” Again, standing, and gently rocking, she looked at me and smiled shyly, and said “OK.”
I asked her to sign the picture, and in the bottom right-hand side, you’ll see simple:
TES. ‘69

I don’t remember if we decided on colors for the framing. Herb, my husband, and Tami’s Dad and I knew of an art exhibit that would be later that year, and would include children’s artwork. Tami agreed to have it entered.

She won a prize on it, but I don’t know which color. I am going to ask her if she would like to write up a little story of her remembrances.


We are linking to the TAO Humor Center Website Tami’s Gallery of her Beadwork, which she still does today!