It was Picasso who said –
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
In the midst of a rather gloomy train of thought with regards to Black Friday and the mad commercialism of the holiday season, a brilliant ray of light entered into my day – one that reminded me of Picasso’s words.
Meir Rogers, a five year old artist from Chicago sent me one of his beautiful pictures and all of a sudden everything made sense.
In Meir’s painting we see the freshness, spontaneity, wonder and pure magic that the artwork of a child brings. Thank you Meir 🙂
Birds by artist Meirs Rogers
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.” Dr. Seuss
When we first enter this world, we are naturally full of curiosity and wonder.
When we observe children at play we see them following the words of the great Dr. Seuss. Filled with curiosity and playfulness they take in all that surrounds them and much more.
Sad to say that by the time we reach adulthood, most of us have lost touch with and confidence in our inner creative energy.
Painting with children in Somerset, UK. These children would be in their early twenties now. They love to watch an artist paint….in this instance, I was painting Cristeve the Cat for them. After I left them they painted their own version of Cristeve the Cat. If we adults could time travel back to our earliest formative years, when the world appeared as a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes, we could regain our natural curiosity and love for colour and form. We might see things in a much broader context than the one prescribed to us by our cultural experience.
Painting portraits with a group of children in France.
As adults we forget how wonderful it is to play with colour….We are concerned about how we appear to others…..which often stifles the creative process.
In children we see a freedom of expression…..especially when a child is encouraged. In Meir Roger’s case I happen to know that he receives great encouragement from his parents and grandparents. I wish that this were true for all children.
Working with children in Brittany, France on a mural for their school. I will always remember when the children sang me the song….’Red and Yellow and Pink and Blue………………. – a very special moment. (these children would all be in their mid thirties today…..It saddens me greatly to hear a child chastised because they are making a mess, being silly or not behaving in a normal fashion.
Words such as these can stay with a child for the rest of their life and prevent them from experiencing the joy of creative expression. Encouragement is key.
It’s OK to fail at being normal, whatever that is……When we observe children exploring their creative energies, we see other ways of seeing and being. Over the years, I have collected a lot of children’s art….and have had many beautiful portraits painted of me by children from around the world.
As I observed six year old Beatrice focus with complete confidence on her artwork, it was a delight. As is often the case when painting portraits…a very special connection is made.
A portrait of me by 6 year old Beatrice from Portugal. Painting water colour portraits of two very special young girls in Portugal My suggestion to children or adults as we approach the holiday season is to get paints and paper and make the creative process an important part of the festive season….and of course for every other season. If you are not sure where to start…why not paint your own wrapping paper….now there’s a thought…..And last but not least I leave you with a watercolour of Cristeve the Cat and a magical hummingbird. A bientot –