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Art Bruts, part 3

By June 23, 2006monkeys

I’m sure you’re bored by now with my incessant droning on about Zoe and Lucy and their lack of interest in art (like here and then here). So I wanted to offer this update as a straighten your back and puff out your chest expression of my sheepish pride. They have suddenly started drawing people, and they are creating these masterpieces of families, not just one person per sheet of paper. That’s Lucy’s above. It’s our family, all floating around Papa. She’s also been drawing Gay-Gay and Pop, Baby Tess, Papa when he was a little boy, Humpty Dumpty, and the spider that sat down next to Little Miss Muffet. And she wants to draw all. the. time. If I hand her a stack of 10 sheets of paper, she’ll draw 10 different scenes of floaty people. Sometimes she even draws on both sides of the paper. It’s amazing. I want to frame them. I want to go out and show them to the neighbors. I want to post them all on my blog. I’m just so proud of her and her cute little brain! And Zoe too! She’s working on her own little hoo-ha: multiple colors within each montage. Lucy tends to stick to one color per scene. But Zoe chooses a different color for each person she draws. Here’s one of hers:

Her people have a little more detail to them, a little more movement. Lucy’s are very reductive. Head. Eyes. Mouth. Arms. Legs. Hair. Zoe’s take into account the disjointedness one sometimes feels while sitting for a portrait. Note, for example, how some of us have legs that do not connect directly to our heads.

Interestingly, just as we entered this new stage of creationism, a new issue of Parenting magazine walks through my door. This one has an article in it called “The Artful Child” and it’s all about what you can expect from your kids, art-wise, as they grow up. Here’s what it says for 3-4 year-olds:

Your budding artist is realizing she can draw with something specific in mind. You’ll notice her putting together the shapes she’s been perfecting to make people and things that mean something to her — like you. She’ll also begin to understand where things belong (such as the eyes, nose, and mouth on a smiley face).

So there you have it. Despite all my worrying, all my competitive parenting, all my subtlety (“You don’t want to watch Mary Poppins again. C’mon! Let’s draw some!”). There they are. Right in line with where they should be. There’s even a drawing in the article to illustrate 3-4-year-old artfulness, by a kid named Lucy, 3 1/2, that looks almost exactly like these drawings my own Lucy, 3 1/2 and Zoe, 3 1/2 are creating. Sheesh.

This morning at breakfast, the girls were showing Bob some of their drawings from yesterday. One of Lucy’s is a picture of Gay-Gay and Pop and Baby Tess (their cousin). In the drawing, Pop’s mouth has a definite frowny curve to it.

Zoe asked, “Lucy, why does Pop have a sad face?”

“No Zoe,” Lucy corrected. “That’s Pop’s angry face.”

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Jen M says:

    funny, i often feel as though my legs are not connected to my head also.

  • So, you are saying that eventually they start using the paper and lay off the coffee table?

  • Stacy says:

    Thanks for swinging by and giving input on separating my twins. Looks like I might give it a trial run. My greatest fear – one will love it, and the other will hate it.

    I’ve read your site a few times and love reading the antics of the girls. I can’t wait until mine are drawing pictures instead of just scribbles!

  • Angela says:

    @ Jen: HA! I know the feeling.

    You might like this book I just got from a used bookstore, called “Drawing with Children.” It’s hard to find, but worth it, I think:

    It has some amazing before and afters–apparently with the methods in the book kids as young as three can go from just drawing circles to drawing totally recognizable objects. The improvements within just a few hours is incredible.

    Not that the above needs any improving! I like floating heads, myself 🙂

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