Wednesday, January 05, 2011

5th January ~ 250 word diary

I put a painting on the wall that I did last week. It was one I’d done alongside Jake during one of his sessions. But when he saw it on the wall today, he dragged a chair over and stood on it to get a better look. He looked at it for a long while. Finally I asked him if he liked it. “Yes! That bootful paintin that one.” I couldn’t have been happier if the snootiest art critic in the world said he liked it. Then he said he wanted to make one too so I showed him how.

He dripped and shook the paint over his paper with joyous gusto. Just as I was thinking to myself how beautifully the colours were falling, he grabbed a tissue and wiped all the colour together, his whole body moving with the rhythm of his arm. My instinct was an intake a breath and a desire to say, “No, stop, it was perfect just as it was.” And if that didn’t work then, “That’s not how Mummy did it.” Instead I gagged my Inner Control Freak and kept quiet. I looked at Jake. He’d forgotten everything but the moment he was in. It reminded me of something Keri Smith quoted on her blog, “Art is a quality, not a product.” Jake’s still at the age where he lives that quality without even knowing it. I just have to get out of his way and try not to spoil it for him.


My painting

Jake's painting

2 comments:

sparklepetal said...

Oooo, well done for not jumping in! It's my biggest wrist-slap-to-self situation at the moment. I get so caught up in the fact that Snow White has managed to paint or crayon something that *I* was envisaging that I whisk it away before she gets a chance to work on it any further. I know this is a bad habit and I should just let her produce what *she* has in mind, or whatever comes naturally. It's just so sad when she "colours in" a drawing and you can no longer see what it was :( Must try harder to let her develop at her own pace.

Jen Smith said...

oh my, I know exactly what you're talking about! I am a Community Artist and spend a lot of time doing arts and crafts work with little ones and so often there is a moment where I think "gosh that is really beautiful" but then it gets covered in a layer of brown yuck as they mix everything together - but for them it's not about the finished product and it's be sad if it was, there is nothing that breaks my heart more than a child that starts over and over and over again because they "made a mistake" and that thinks they are "no good at it"... they are the ones who were told the brown yuck had spoiled their picture when they were young I reckon!