Friday, March 26, 2010
I have a confession to make. I'm a rotten mom when it comes to doing art with the kids. I think the reason is, with my own creating, I make everything so much more complicated than it needs to be that I don't want to push that mindset off on them. It used to bother me and make me think that because everything takes me so long, I'm not really good at creating. I felt creating should come naturally, instantaneously. It took me a long time to realize that it's just how I work. I'm a person who overthinks things yet I'm not a great visionary. That odd combination works out in my favor. Because I'm not a great visionary, when things don't work I've researched all the what-ifs so thoroughly that I can usually find a way to muddle through my problem. Usually!
Caelan was always very different from me in that way. He'd get out the paints or his medium of choice, colored pencils, and go to town nearly every day without any interference from me. If he made a mistake, he didn't mind. He always views those as learning experiences, as one should.
Will, on the other hand, thinks the way I do. The first time he colored in a coloring book, everything was inside the lines. It was freaky to see someone so little have a natural "understanding" that those lines were rules that weren't to be broken. If he got a tiny bit outside, he'd get very upset and crumple up his paper. I knew exactly how he felt. And although I tried, I knew before I started that no amount of encouragement to just ignore it was going to change his mind.
The same thing happens when he paints. He gets 1/2 way through a painting and sees nothing but a mess of mistakes. He won't paint unless I paint with him. I never have gotten over my loathing of the process, not ever even knowing what I want to paint when I start. No vision! For whatever reason, Will thinks I'm a fantastic painter. He didn't get far past this point in his painting before he crumpled it up (it wasn't scaled properly) and started eyeing my painting. As usual, he asked if he could help. I love this. Not only does it make me feel OK that I finished a ridiculously silly painting that looks like an 8-year-old did it and like it (the sole reason being his contribution) but it makes him feel more confident because in his eye, he helped paint something that looks good.
And there you have it. The masterpiece of two neurotic painters.