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Art Bruts

By December 12, 2005monkeys

I’m so guilty.

As many of you may know, I like to draw. In fact, art plays somewhat of a major role in my career based on my bang-my-head-against-a-wall interest in making the world look “nice.” So it may come as a surprise (at least, it has to me) that Zoe and Lucy are not interested whatsoever in making art. It doesn’t matter what medium we try: crayons, paint, pens, magnadoodles, stickers, fingerpainting etc. They entertain my yearning for about 3 minutes tops, then they wander off leaving me to clean up the mess. Even their Ducks from Elmo’s (is his name Elmo?) take them a flat 1 minute to create, then they’re ready to go hang them in the gallery.

I’m working on being okay with this — I mean, it doesn’t mean anything, right? While our children can be reflections of us, they are not extensions of us. My mom, for example, is a fantastic dancer and, though I do enjoy stomping my boots from time to time, I know that you know that I did not inherit this talent. But if I’m being honest with myself (and isn’t that what the Upside-Up is all about?) I must admit that I’m decidedly not okay with Zoe & Lucy’s lack of interest in drawing. I’m totally guilty of getting frustrated after I’ve spent 15 minutes setting up the paints & brushes at the easel, getting their mama-tshirt-smocks on, hanging the paper on both sides of the easel and announcing *GO*, only to have them walk away 3 minutes later, leaving me with 30 minutes of cleanup.

So, please note the unabashed joy in my voice as I announce that Zoe and Lucy are now drawing “things.” This is to say, while they previously had the combined attention span of a dustmite when it came to all things art, suddenly they are showing some interest in drawing.

Lucy is drawing Mockodiles. “They’re like Crocodiles, but smaller. And they’re nice” (read: not scary).

The Not-So-Ferocious Mockodile

(Bob has helpfully notated the anatomy for us, as dictated by Lucy. Note the big eyes, short tail and many many teeth contained in the (non-notated) yawping mouth.)

Zoe, on the other hand, is drawing lots of circles. And suns. She calls the rays part of the sun hair or arms. But suns they are.

The drawing of actual nameable things doesn’t happen all the time, however, so don’t let me go all splayed legged off the deep end. Today we brought home a bunch of art from school. I was looking at it with them over lunch, asking each one what they were drawing and expressing my excitement over each piece. Lucy painted a big yellow splotchy thing — all yellow. When I asked her what it was she said “Ummm, it’s a lotta yellow.”

Lord I’m going to be such a pain in the ass pusher mom.

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