Our Little Artist
Embellish, Let Her Be
"What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure". Gene Perret
Art in our DNA? Definitely! There is no other explanation as i watch our granddaughter develop and do her 'thing'. Early on, she surprised us, when she learned to walk. She tip toed around the house, like a tiny ballerina, we were so amused. At three years, she could sing (perform!), dance (she actually taught herself with Bella Dance a rella), and paint. We thought she was a genuis, when she learned to play chess. Thanks to her grandpa 'Umpa' who patiently taught her the game, starting with memorizing every piece! But, as amazing as we think she is, (She's a constant Star awardee in school) we are careful not to think 'child prodigy'. That is to put unecessaty pressure on our precious little one. As a family, we agree that it is more important to let her be, and love her for all her 'normalness'. This our little journey of discovery, and the joy we find and share with our little artist.
Once we were done cutting white paper dolls, i said, "We should embellish them", and she asked, "What is embellish"?. She was about four years old at that time. And we went to town putting colors, and blings on every doll. Now she's 6 going to 7 in a few months, and she's already our budding 'fashionista', who knows life does not have to be plain, and colorless.
Our little artist no longer builds sandcastles, finger paint, nor mold playdos. She still is interested in designing, but with the use of the computer. She has shown more independence, when shopping for her clothes, shoes and accessories, which has made mom's eyes roll more. She continues to paint, and show significant development with her themes and subjects. She makes home made cards for special occasions, create posters, like one she made to welcome grandpa upon returning home from the hospital. She loves music and dancing, and everyone's excited that she will have her first ballet recital. We let her be, to make her choices, and nothing is ever forced on her. It is amazing! .
Mentoring is so rewarding. It's a two way learning experience and the best bonding a family can do for one another. I know i am learning so much in building a relationship with a child. There is something about their innocence, spontaneity and lack of fear. When asked, "Do you like it?", referring to her work, i am able to affirm her authenticity and uniqueness. At times, when we are painting the same theme, out in the garden, and she tells me my painting is much nicer than hers, i thank her, but explain that artists are different from each other, and therefore, interpret subjects in their own way. That no art, or interpretation is bad. It's a lot of fun, and i want her to feel comfortable with self espression. I have taught her the use of different brushes, strokes, styles and mixing colors. She got to impress her art teacher last summer with her skills and knowledge. She's able to work with different medium, but i can tell, she loves acrylic.
I hope her interest in art remain strong. Already she is delving into digital art and has asked me to teach her how to use Photoshop. I know it will be easy for her as she leads the computer class in school! It thrills me when she say's she wants to be like me, and that she wants to someday have her own gallery. Meantime, she has to settle for the refrigerator door and 'stealing' walls in the house to post her artwork. It's precious!
It comforts me in a big way that her little soul finds meaning and happiness in the exercise. The world will not always be kind, as we know it. No matter, it is my prayer that, the same way art has been good for me and to me, it will be, even more, wonderful for our precious grandchild.