I made a picture for you

“I made a picture for you,”  We hear that a lot from the children in our lives.  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.  Rarely does one family come every month.  More typically, dads will come a couple times a year.  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.  I was touched that she thought of me when creating her art.  Because I don’t see her very often, being acknowledged and remembered made me feel special.


The picture itself intrigued me.  In the past I would have asked her what it was or what she had created.  I’ve taught myself that art doesn’t need to BE something.  It has value regardless.  The texture and symmetry of this piece make it very beautiful to me.  So I asked her what she liked about it.  She told me she likes to make patterns.  I mentioned I liked the symmetry and that it made me think of water running in a stream.  My oldest daughter saw eyes, serpentine eyes with eyebrows.  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.  That each picture must be something or mean something concrete.   I struggle to learn about art for art’s sake.  I really like this book by Peter A. Reynolds. It reminds us that art is worth doing, regardless of the product.   This book is worth reading, over and over.