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


Anonymous 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!