“I made a picture for you,” Â We hear that a lot from the children in our lives. Â I’m not always as grateful as I should be for the gift.
On the 2nd Wednesday of each month, I run a Daddy and Me gym night at Robert Ogilvie Elementary. Â Rarely does one family come every month. Â More typically, dads will come a couple times a year. Â Usually the kids don’t remember me that well between visits.
Then a girl shows up last week with a picture for me. I hadn’t seen this family since the previous September. Â I was touched that she thought of me when creating her art. Â Because I don’t see her very often, being acknowledged and remembered made me feel special.
The picture itself intrigued me. Â In the past I would have asked her what it was or what she had created. Â I’ve taught myself that art doesn’t need to BE something. Â It has value regardless. Â The texture and symmetry of this piece make it very beautiful to me. Â So I asked her what she liked about it. Â She told me she likes to make patterns. Â I mentioned I liked the symmetry and that it made me think of water running in a stream. Â My oldest daughter saw eyes, serpentine eyes with eyebrows. Â What do you see or feel when you look at this picture?
I am curious about how we force representation onto our children’s art early on. Â That each picture must be something or mean something concrete. Â I struggle to learn about art for art’s sake. Â I really like this book by Peter A. Reynolds. It reminds us that art is worth doing, regardless of the product. Â This book is worth reading, over and over.