When I look at museum paintings, I see colorful, masterful, well thought out works of art. That’s my thinking because I’m a planner. When I start a project, I have an end in mind. An artist friend of mine laughed at me one day as I told her this and she told me that many artists just start and see where it takes them, WITH OUT AN END IN MIND. What??? Obviously I’m wired differently than the creative freeform artist but today’s craft reminded me to take a breath and let my boys be artists not perfectionists.
I saw on a blog, awhile back, a beautiful Christmas tree made out of using cut up toilet paper roll pieces for the stamping. So I taped two pieces of white copy paper on the table, poured out some green Crayola washable paint onto a saucer, cut a small round end off a toilet paper roll and cut that piece in half. I drew a basic triangle on the paper as a Christmas tree. Then I showed the boys how to dip the cardboard’s edge in the paint and stamp a half-moon curve onto the paper. Being twins, they each had their own way of interpreting my instructions. Lance did really well for most of the time while James prefered to drag his piece on the page and by the end, he was also dragging his whole arm through the green paint. I really had to fight not correcting James. This is 2-year-old art, it will not be hanging anywhere except on my refrigerator door so who cares if he paints differently. Then I took the cap of the red bottle and I helped the boys put their thumb in the cap then put thumbprints on the page for the ornaments. After a quick hand wash, they dipped their index finger in the yellow paint bottle and made the star at the top. I was just telling Lance how great he did following my instructions and that his tree was perfect. Then….He tore the page off the table, smeared the paint in doing so and ripped the page in two.
Oh the frustration! I had just praised him then this happened. I wanted to throw it in the trash, but a thought occurred to me. I wonder if this is how Picasso’s parents felt when he was little. His paintings are wild, vibrant and very different. I imagine him sitting on the floor playing with other children. The kids drawing a flower with pencils and there sits Picasso drawing what looks like crazy scribble. I don’t know what he was like when young, but I can imagine his mother having a hard time containing him, just like I’m doing today. I bet that Picasso started with paint and let his imagination go. I bet he didn’t consider his work to be perfect until he stepped back and felt the sence of I’m done, it’s completed. Had someone given him strict guidelines in his painting, he wouldn’t be perfect either. In fact, if I were to judge Picasso’s work without knowing who was the artist, I’d say his work wasn’t perfect either.
So I let the paint dry and mounted the pages onto a green background and hung them up on the fridge. I do have to say I like them, I like them a lot. They are not the least bit like the ones on the blog that I saw, but my boys’ paintings are what I imagine Picasso’s young art to look like. Lance’s art work is unique because he put texture down the middle to make it beautiful. I will try to remember that none of us are perfect, but each of us is beautiful because Our Creator has said so.