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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My little Artist

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Ain't that the truth? I suppose that is why Mr. Picasso was so famous, and I am so very NOT, but in all honesty, that quote really touched my heart the first time I read it. To freely engage in art, like so many things in life, is something that sadly so many of us lose as we age. By the time most of us are in our tweens, our sense of artful expression dwindles as we begin to compare ourselves to others. We feel a sense of needing our art to have a purpose, and to come up with a product that is worthy (whatever that means?) of others admiration.

As I previously discussed, sometimes it is hard to remember that it isn't about the product at all, it is most assuredly about the PROCESS. I wonder when, where, and how we lose sight of that along our journey. When do we stop letting our heart lead the way, and start second guessing ourselves? When do we forget how to just put the paint on the paper, and simply FEEL our way through it? When do we start looking more at the outcome, and less at the entire experience?

As a parent, I wonder if there is a way that I can help guide my daughter through her life while keeping the art alive? Is there something that can be done, so that she continues to relish in the moment of the making, instead of worrying about how it all ends? This is my quest. I wish to preserve the joy, the smiles, the deep concentration, the pride, and the discovery.

Last May, I enlisted Hubby in this project, by asking him to fashion her an easel. I let him use his imagination, and this is what he came up with. We LOVE it! One of the best features is that the white board is bathroom tile board, so that she can paint directly on it, and I can wash it off. We can use markers on it, then wipe it clean. :) IT IS WONDERFUL!

Sadly, I wasn't very prepared when he finished the easel, and didn't have the proper supplies. The first few uses, we had to make do with on old brush and some finger paints. From the looks of this smile....I am fairly certain mama's unpreparedness was lost on Sugar Bear.

It is a blessing to watch this girl create her art. Sometimes she uses bold, brave strokes, and sometimes she gently pats the paint onto the paper. It doesn't matter whether she attacks the project fiercely, or if she quietly concentrates, the end result is the same...a completely, and utterly satisfied toddler. The pride she feels in her art skills is apparent, and I share in her adoration of her masterpieces. While she creates, I comment on her process in a narrating manner. "Oh are using the red paint. You are pushing hard!" or "WOW...look how carefully you are spreading the green paint!" Sugar seems to appreciate my observations, and only sometimes corrects me if I am off the mark. As she ages, I'll start asking her things like, "Can you tell me about your painting?" or "Can you describe to me what you are doing?" It is my hope that through offering her plenty of chances to express herself artistically, my appreciation of WHAT she is doing, and little emphasis on the actual product, she'll hold on to her inner artist a little longer than most children.

It has been said that I will be every teacher's worst nightmare when Sugar Bear gets into school. Such thoughts make me giggle a little. If being a pro-active, interested advocate for my child makes me the "pain in the hiney Mom", then so be it. I do believe I will have a hard time holding back from suggesting that the children be offered ALL the colors when given an apple tree to color, instead of just the green and red. Nothing saddens me more than to see educators limiting a child's imagination and creativity. If that makes me wrong....well then, I just don't want to be right!

18 Live It or Love It:

Lindy said...

You're my hero today : ) Here's to ALL the colors in the paint box!

You are just one amazing mom, Corey, and I get such a warm heart reading about your special bond with Corey. I really appreciated your comments about it being the process and not the product that is important too. I'm hoping to start Christmas cookies when we stop being sick around here and that little reminder will serve me well with my little assistant baker : )

P.S. I have an award for you in my December 6th post, you'll have to scroll down a bit...

holly said...

i loved this. really loved this. but i always love your stuff. that last shot was so great. :)

re mad skillz : did you read cami yet?

KatieBug said...

Have you considered home schooling her? I think you would be GREAT!!

Megan Cobb said...

You see THIS is why blogging isn't a waste of time. Because I LEARN things I'd never learn anywhere else, things that are really vital and helpful and miraculous. Thanks for sharing your approach and thoughts on this... I am both chastened and heartened, and of course, charmed as always by the adorable cuteness of the Bear of Shugness.

Deb said...

Awesome! You have a wonderful little artist there and with all the freedom to express exactly who she is. I really need to get out the paints with my kids more. I really do.

Beautiful photos... :)

Autumn said...

I loved this Corey. I often forget that it is about the process. Great pictures, I loved the last shot of the brush. Oh and I am totally impressed with your hubby. First a water and sand table, a huge bench and then an easel.. yep I'm impressed. :)

Heidi said...

Sweet read. Was that last picture taken with your new lense or your regular lense? And, one more time, have you ever let SB finger paint with chocolate pudding? {big smile} That's the way we do art over here....

T with Honey said...

Everything you mentioned in this post is exactly why I give Princess supplies for craft projects, coloring, painting and playing and then let her go where her inspiration leads her. That can be a little frustrating to the perfectionist in Honey and I.

But it leads to beautiful insight about my daughter and her personality. Her favorite apples are golden delicious. Can you guess what color she makes the apples on the apple tree? (hint: not red)

Maude Lynn said...

This is a wonderful post! Let the clouds be green, the grass blue, and the artist be an artist!

Pam said...

In the education world, we call it "process, not product." Unfortunately, many parents and teachers are more concerned about the product than the process. I'm glad to see that you see the value in letting SB express herself in her own way.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I wonder who is more artistic - you or your daughter. That's one close tie. :)

Thanks for your email on the camera info, I sincerely appreciate it!

Joeprah said...

Your pictures tell such a story! Glad you are back!! Great Idea with the White Board!! Cool.

Rachel said...

You are an amazing woman.
I love your perspective on things.
She is a very lucky little sugar bear!!!
I am envious of your photography talents.
Kudos! I can't wait to see more.

we are reilly said...

What insight -- I think you have such wonderful perspective on life and child-rearing -- keep it up! LOVE reading your writing....

And the photos -- WOW!

Bellevelma said...

I love that she uses colors. My son is the monochromatic artist. He picks one color and goes with it.

Donetta said...

This was perfect for me this morning as I needed to think again outside the box. I have so many things to create as gifts for several people. I am an artist that spent so many years recapturing the very thing you are preserving in her. Hurray! for this is a wonderful "art"tical :) to keep the creative mind fresh.

Michelle said...

oh what a lovely post:)and a lovely artist with such a beautiful smile.have a great week..

Michelle said...

I love these pics of her showing that artistic spirit!

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