Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Botanical Specimens, by my son. Not by me. Because he is not me.

Botanical Specimen, Something to be Excited About, by Gabriel
My almost 5 year old son is afraid of drawing. Yes. That's right. He refuses to draw.

What does one do when one is an obsessive artist whose son refuses to draw?

One lets him alone, and looks at the problem, until one discovers the tack to take.

My son loves science. He loves nature of all types, animals, rocks, dinosaurs, nanobytes, plants, life cycles... whatever. Lately, he has decided that he wants to have a museum... one with real dinosaur bones.

Recently I saw a post where preschoolers drew flowers from life and all of a sudden I thought, oh my god, that is the answer.

I went out into the yard, grabbed a dandelion, and said, "Hey Gabriel, do you want to draw a botanical specimen?"

All of a sudden, he was excited. He sat down at the table where I taped the dandelion and a dandelion puff ball seed.
I asked him what color he needed. He said green. I showed him two greens and he picked the light colored one. I asked him what else he saw and he said the flower and he asked for a yellow crayon. We continued looking at the parts of the flower and drawing them. He even asked for white for the puff ball part, although I explained to him that white crayon wouldn't show up on white paper.

We continued to draw the parts of the flower until lunch got in the way. I set the picture aside and showed him a pine cone and a piece of amethyst geode he already had, and told him we could try those next, and they would be good specimens for his museum.

He never complained about not wanting to draw. He was interested. He thought about the shapes that he saw and how to represent them. He thought about what colors would be best for the different parts. It was an important project to him... not a drawing project dictated by my thoughts about what he should be doing. It wasn't about me. It was about him.

What happens when we follow our loves, our interests, our passions? What happens if we are given permission to be our own selves, and find our own way?


shari said...

Wow! That is impressive and very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

kristin said...

oh, how wonderful!

i love your perspective...and his delight!

thanks for linking over.

warmly, kristin

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