Thursday, 11 August 2011

The (non) visual artist

I am not a visual artist. I have no ability to capture shading or perspective. My people are barely more than stick figures with square clothing. I never had the patience to sit down and cut and glue and be crafty. It was always my least favourite part of school, camps, and activities. I rarely even tried, that's how much I didn't like it.

Consequently, I rarely do any drawing, art, or crafts with my boys. That plus the idea of all that mess in my kitchen (the only place to do it) makes me think it's not a good idea. There is no way that paint, markers and glue would not end up all over my walls, floor, and especially my lovely table and chairs. Even at the Early Years Centre, we rarely hit the craft table, and I didn't even think of trying to manage paint.

As it turns out, Colin is somewhat of an artist. He can already draw much better than I can, and has a wonderfully creative mind when he starts to draw scenes. His attention to detail is quite advanced for his age. More than all this, he genuinely loves it.

So we started to branch out a bit. He has a pair of scissors, some glue, some tape, and a whole pad of construction paper. Now he will sit for a long, extended amount of time (upwards of an hour!) and work away at his art. Caleb, always wanting to join in what his big brother is doing, will venture in as well. And because Benjamin also feels the need to do whatever Colin and Caleb are doing, that usually means I'm sitting down and supervising. More than supervising, I've actually been joining in. Yes, I have been engaging in the visual arts.

But I haven't been trying to do "adult" art. By that I mean something that another adult would look at and admire in some way. Sure, at first I started by trying to just create abstract art that could pass for something adult and artistic. But I soon realized that I just don't have an artistic bone in my body. So I decided on a new approach - the kid approach. I just started cutting and gluing and drawing and colouring and scribbling all over the page. Guess what - scribbling is really fun. Benjamin and I scribble all sorts of colours all the time. Colin and I make a great team where I cut out shapes and he pastes them. And sometimes I'm just working away on my own little creation, utterly unconcerned for what appears on the page.

Here are two examples of the works I've created:

A collage about camping:

A collage Colin made: he told me the pieces to cut, I cut them, and he glued them. It's an orca whale saving a person from a shark attack. And you can't tell, but the little black fish above the whale is only glue on by it's tail, so you can flip it open to reveal his name signed behind it.

These are the two pictures hanging on our magnet wall in the kitchen right now. Most of my other pieces wouldn't really be much to see - they really are just scribbles, shapes, and colours. Even if you aren't an "artist," give it a go someday. Find your inner child and scribble away. It's quite relaxing, actually, especially after a stressful, or just full, day.

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