“Where art is concerned, it is the process of creating — exploring, discovering, and experimenting — that has the greatest value. Through self-expression and creativity,children’s skills will develop naturally, and their ability to create will soar.”
-MaryAnn Kohl, award-winning author, publisher and educational consultant.
Okay, this collection of my middle son’s drawings are in the guest bedroom and not in an art gallery or museum, but it is a lovely little exhibit of drawings he has given us as gifts through the years. He has always loved to draw, and somewhere along the line I had the good sense to get out of the way and not try to teach him to draw. Dr. Haim Ginott, a psychologist popular when I found myself single parenting two rambunctious boys less than two years apart, offered practical advice on ways to channel energy. Some sage wisdom that is apropos to today’s blog deals with budding artists who decide walls make a lovely palette. Instead of flying into what surely would seem a well deserved fit of fury over the destruction, Dr. Ginott advised that I calmly say: ”Walls are not for writing; paper is; here is some paper.” I followed that advice and very soon he was asking for paper-which I gave to him happily. And eventually, here are some crayons, and some paint and some brushes and an easel. His work was tacked, taped and exhibited where ever there was a space-at first just for the validation of a wise choice of medium and then because they were lovely and charming.
I am not suggesting that the drawings displayed in the guest bedroom are the result of my grand parenting skills, but I do think my little Picasso loved to express himself through pen and paper-and not to write! He loved to draw, and I again I had the good sense again to let him. I learned to not ask him what it was-often it wasn’t really anything. I learned to not offer silly praise-this is the most beautiful thing I had ever seen-but to offer sincere observation that the colors were fantastic-that I loved all the blue, or red. He was a stand out in the art classes then offered in elementary school-always had a sketch pad handy as he grew to be a man. He loved the mountains, the scenery and wildlife that was everywhere you looked in Colorado. He drew what he saw-E is for elk. E is for eagle.
I had these drawings in a box until last year when I was cleaning out a closet and came across them. How silly, I thought to myself. I need to create a gallery of these wonderful nature drawings in our guest bedroom-dubbed the Colorado Room. We had lived there for years and loved the mountains and the beauty you could find within a one hour’s drive out of the city. A quick trip to the Dollar Store, some black spray paint and I had a gallery of art, featuring the drawings of a man who as a little boy had started out with a spectacular display of squiggles and swirls. E is for exhibit!