Friday, June 20, 2008

Scribbles and Hubble and Goldfish, Oh My!

This is a series of paintings I did with Ivy over the course of the last few days. I painted the circles, and she did the rest. Somehow, my starting the painting out with circles allowed her to dig in, too. I used to do the same for G, but I would paint a stick figure or a face that he would then elaborate. We used Crayola Color Wonder Fingerpaints. A wonderful greasy, squooshy clean fun time activity which G won't touch because it's a yucky greasy squooshy mess. He likes water colors the best, which Ivy tends to eat.

She likes to sit on my lap while I am on the computer, and paint. She has even learned a new word and will yell it loudly and repeatedly if I do not listen quickly enough. "Paint. Paint! PAINT! PAINTPAINTPAINT!"

As she painted picture after picture, I started to see something interesting.

This is what I thought of.

I love those Hubble photographs. They fire my imagination, and they are so goshdern beautiful.
It doesn't hurt my imaginitive process that I am writing a Science Fiction novel about a colony who lands on the only other Earth-like planet that has ever been discovered by man... and they do it on the sly, to keep other dangblasted Earthlings from getting in on the booty.

It gratifies my soul that my little artbabies enjoy painting and looking at art. Sometimes G will sit on my lap and watch me page through etsy (we search for key words like monsters) and he has definite likes and dilikes.. I've taken them to museums and art festivals. Once before Ivy was born, I took G to a gallery and he turned up his nose at everything there. He just didn't like it. I tried to make the artist (who was there) feel better saying he was picky, but I think he ignored the whole thing, thinking what does a kid know about art. I don't think he realized that G actually does have a distinct aesthetic sense, and it wasn't ALL art he didn't like, it was just this guy's. D'oh!

Maybe that guy should spend some more time looking at kids' art, because they come up with some amazing things, without the art education or even an elementary education. Maybe humans are innately artistic, or creative, or visually oriented. Maybe we all have the potential to be artists, and it only depends upon our parents and lives to nurture that potential.

By coincidence, the good people at Inspire Me Thursday picked this weeks inspiration to be "Bringing Child's Art to Life." It's like the inspiration was hand picked for me.

I had already been thinking about the outerspace image, but then I started wondering how else I might be able to bring the paintings to life. It's not an easy challenge, I don't think, especially since my kids are so little, and their art is non-representational. I love it, but they haven't moved into people and kitties and houses yet.

I started to think about what Ivy might be thinking/seeing while she paints, if it's not just the sensual pleasure of squishing in the paint and the existential pleasure of making a mark that stays behind. (Do one year olds experience existential pleasure?)

This is what I came up with. Something that echoes the chaotic feel, the circles, the colors, the sensual pleasure (this time with touch and taste, along with sight.)

So that's how I staged my Child's art. I did it on purpose, even if it just looks like my kid's snack. Actually, I thought about leaving all the cheerios and goldfish on the floor, where they actually were, but I wanted a white background, not a brown wood one.

What IS it with Cheerios and the floor? Maybe the kids really are trying to make art when they throw them on the floor. A kind of breakfast cereal Pollock thing?


Karen Mowrey said...


You totally crack me up and love the cereal Pollock comment! Kids embody the term "Active Art". I had my daughter do her own JP on a floor size canvas at age 4. She picked Jackson Pollock as an artist she wanted to emulate for an art class. She named her work "Art Alive".

Cheers to us for sure, it is about time the moms are first at something!

Lorraine said...

Love your crayola paintings..if I want backgrounds I always do them with the kids as they are so creative. Thanks for the great comments on my blog..a moo is a small piece of art work that is 2.8cm x 7cm it is similair in size to those microscope slides that you see that are soldered. I have a link to a great moo site "make a moo" on my blog that sets up challenges every have a go!

Alberta & Ava said...

Wonderful post! and I loe the paintings you and Ivy did. Yor children are so lucky to have a creative mom like you.

Anonymous said...

You commented on my blog. Thank you stopping by. And so I came here and have enjoyed reading what you have to say. I'm from Florida, too, but have complicated feelings about the place.

But now, children make great art. My husband and I have our son's art everywhere--I just tack it to the wall along with the framed things. Makes for a crazy wall, but I so want art to be part of his life. A normal thing.

Love the circles. Will be back.

Barbara Hagerty said...

What a fabulously creative idea! I love the colors and shapes! Very artistic, indeed!! Great sense of humor, too!

Forever Young said...

i think this stuff is marvellous. couldn't post my link this week so here it is:

also a giveaway 'giggles' post, join me.

Katy said...

Kids do have very definite opinions. My son has vision problems, so he doesn't have much of an opinion on art, but he will let me know if he likes the music or not. It's amazing how soon they develop that sense of what they like and what they don't like. said...

Love your post, great read. Love your peices ,

Bronwyn said...

Yes, those Hubble images are so incredibly beautiful. I find them dizzying and inspiring & I loved the juxtaposition of them with your daughter's beautiful paintings. Loved reading this post .

kazumiwannabe said...

Love your daughter's painting, and the ideas and humor in your post. I think too that children are complete little individuals with as much taste and opinions as adults have, except it's more sincere and less "tainted" when they're small. And I like a lot your idea of imagining what your daughter had in mind while she painted. Interesting and funny!

Lynnie said...

Love your connection of the paintings to the Hubble photos. Kids' art, even kids I don't know, is really interesting to me.

Out of that whole interesting post, all my mommybrain kept thinking was, "Her daughter paints in her lap while she uses the computer?????????" Man! I want some tips for that! My two daughters are TOTAL MessyGirls. I could put them in a cardboard box to paint and it would still be on the ceiling of the next room!

Christy said...

I love that hubble mosaic!

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