When mother Gemma Leighton enrolled her six-year-old daughter in an after-school Art Club at her elementary school, she surely never expected her daughter to feel discouraged in her passions.
But that was exactly what happened a few days ago, when six-year-old Edie returned home from school unsure about her future as an artist.
She brought home with her a large, elaborate painting, complete with a sky, trees and ground with a unique color palette.
The assignment she followed appeared to be a study in perspective drawing, in which items in the forefront appear larger, and items in the distance appear smaller and "higher" on the page, giving the illusion of being further away.
Six-year-old Edie returned home from school feeling disappointed, despite the effort she put into her painting.
According to the child, her art teacher told her her painting was "wrong."
Leighton shared what happened on Twitter, looking for renewed inspiration for her daughter.
"My 6-year-old daughter painted this amazing scene at an after-school art club."
"Her art teacher told her she had done it wrong?!"
"You can't do art wrong"
"She was so upset as art is her favorite thing to do."
"Can you please show Edie some support and like her painting?"
My 6 year old daughter painted this amazing scene at an after school art club. Her art teacher told her she had do… https://t.co/GVKcKYbWtf— Gemma Leighton (@Gemma Leighton)1618998792.0
But the Twitterverse did much more than "like" her painting.
An overwhelming number shared their own stories of being discouraged in their pursuit of art.
@GemLeighton Edie, I will never forget coloring a horse blue when I was about your age and being told it was wrong.… https://t.co/DvZB46oU9P— Helen Kennedy (@Helen Kennedy)1619045165.0
@GemLeighton My daughter did this a la Van Gogh, teacher reaction was similar. So disappointing. https://t.co/6Rr63Blnm3— Pascual Pérez-Paredes 🇪🇺 🇪🇺 🇪🇺 (@Pascual Pérez-Paredes 🇪🇺 🇪🇺 🇪🇺)1619029859.0
@GemLeighton 1st of all it’s a great painting. 2nd, absolutely you can’t do art wrong. Too many ‘art’ teachers conf… https://t.co/uUWgBKAGlD— Dawn 🇨🇦 (@Dawn 🇨🇦)1619069110.0
@GemLeighton Edie this is an amazing, perfect. painting. In fact I will print it and put it on my wall. & to Mum,… https://t.co/a369tSmcXa— Pip Gray #KillTheBill #BLM (@Pip Gray #KillTheBill #BLM)1619025380.0
@GemLeighton I had a prof tell me this in the second year of what I hoped would be my BFA. That was 1991, I was 21,… https://t.co/oLdcHIPjsl— Rachelle (Shell) Drouin (@Rachelle (Shell) Drouin)1619046281.0
Some showed their support for the young artist's painting, including KISS lead singer Paul Stanley.
Edie... Your art is AWESOME!!! There is no such thing as doing art “wrong”. There are only teachers who are wrong”… https://t.co/rlEwCxFFtP— Paul Stanley (@Paul Stanley)1619058568.0
@PaulStanleyLive As an artist I can tell she is expressing what she sees. It is good I see she prefers kinda Monet… https://t.co/4igQthSwV2— lilmiskiss77 (@lilmiskiss77)1619066599.0
@GemLeighton We think Edie is very talented! She's always welcome in our art club😊 xx https://t.co/KUO8LN3rBv— Sylvanian Families (@Sylvanian Families)1619077509.0
@GemLeighton Art is never wrong, Edie! Your work is beautiful ❤— Ruth Madeley (@Ruth Madeley)1619087401.0
@GemLeighton Wow Eddie I LOVE your painting you can join my Art Club— Grayson Perry (@Grayson Perry)1619031160.0
Others wanted a copy of it or even wanted to buy it.
@GemLeighton How can I buy an original Edie masterpiece???— Susan Arnold (@Susan Arnold)1619254365.0
@GemLeighton @frontroyalgirl That's a terrific piece, Edie. I'd love to frame it and display it for all to see. https://t.co/N72NbZW9LH— Alexander McKinley, QBE 🏴🇨🇦🇺🇸 (@Alexander McKinley, QBE 🏴🇨🇦🇺🇸)1619085693.0
Leighton was absolutely overwhelmed with the responses from the platform.
"I am absolutely blown away by the response from all of you amazing twitter folk."
"Thank you so much for all of your encouragement, support, links, and resources."
"You've all helped to inspire my little girl and for that, I cannot thank you enough."
I am absolutely blown away by the response from all of you amazing twitter folk 😊 Thank you so much for all of your… https://t.co/cEKIQZm7y9— Gemma Leighton (@Gemma Leighton)1619033005.0
Six-year-old Edie showed her appreciation for the responses, too.
"Hello everybody, thank you for all your kind comments."
"I'm putting a shop on Etsy called 'Edie's Art' and if you don't have it… just download it."
Edie would like to thank everyone for the kind and encouraging support. She feels much more confident than she did… https://t.co/34wJ5P6lHx— Gemma Leighton (@Gemma Leighton)1619020777.0
Though it was a funny surprise at the time, Leighton decided to create an Etsy shop for her daughter, where prints of the painting would be available.
Due to an overwhelming demand, I will be collecting prints of Edie's fabulous painting up on Monday. Copies will be… https://t.co/UDHzBXRmxQ— EdiesArtSpace (@EdiesArtSpace)1619254829.0
In addition, she created a separate Twitter account, called "Edie's Art," where she would share more of Edie's art and hoped other parents would share their children's work as well.
I have created a page for Edie's art as a space for all children to upload their magnificent creations! This was su… https://t.co/ven6UxNo6m— Gemma Leighton (@Gemma Leighton)1619080770.0
Edie, her mother and this Twitter community clearly understand the value of loving art for art's sake.
For those who are interested in studying art, there are certain lessons one has to learn to improve their craft, such as color values, shading, dimensions and perspective. But beyond learning these tools, art is purely subjective and all about self-expression.