Friday, July 08, 2005

deep within

my daughter beside me draws post it size pieces of artwork. using techniques i have not taught her, but she has found within her artistic soul.

watercolours done with images in the negative space. birds crafted out of the whiteness of the paper. thatched roofs and bridges, hills and waterways complete the landscape.

tonight's relief is on a yellow post it. illumination for a tent in the dark sharpie night. a red fire blazes in the foreground. a fire ring of blackened stones encircles the fire.

such creativity i have need only to place the tools within her reach. pastels, watercolors, pencils, markers, crayons (an early favorite now shunned). she longs to paint with oil and canvas, but not yet. we've not been able to go there yet. but i see her mind working and wheels turning.

when we stand before a picasso, she notes the lines and shapes, the colors contrasting. she is not much for words, images please her immensely though. she tells me,
i'm not a writer. i'm an artist.

i tell her,
don't set your mind to not writing. say, i'm an artist. and be done with it. but don't shut down the writer inside
(a folly i know too well). i've read her poetry, the kid can write!

children use what is available to fashion great constructs of the imagination. until they are shut down for being too messy or wasting materials. our kitchen table is stained with blue dye from her early endeavors, but they serve to remind me that an artist lives here.

and when i am old and she is gone raising her children, perhaps that blue stain will be a comfort to me. who knows.

how i have tried to coax my artist child back out of hiding. so long has she been hiding within. but as i see my girl launch out in areas i have failed at, it gives me courage to try again. i simply need the innocence of a child.

nurture the artist within you. let him out to play in color or word, sound or image. set him free and see what he can do. then come back and tell me how it went.

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