Watching this video of Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on education and creativity at TED – hilarious, insightful, engaging and (ringing) so true – and reacquainting myself with Danny Gregory’s website and books on drawing, I realized there was a gap in my approach to art and creativity with Amie.
When she draws or paints and asks me to draw something too, I always respectfully decline for several reasons. I don’t want to influence her lines with my perception of things, I don’t want to impose my sense of realism on her, and in the end I like to have a drawing that is wholly hers.
But then how will she see a drawing being made?
So I’ve instated another book: the story/drawing/scrap book. It is a sturdy receptacle of stories told and pictures drawn by Amie, spontaneously or when asked. And every other day, I sit down, right there next to her or nearby (“what’re you doin’ Mama?”) and draw something in it.
I copy something from her favorite picture book of the moment, or I draw an object in the room or something imaginary. When she asks, I explain to her what I’m drawing, and let her watch me make lines and add color. If she wants to contribute to the drawing, she is welcome to.
This is a typical page: a note of what she said that day about the names Stella and Elisabeth, and then my copy of Marie-Louise Gay’s Stella. Amie draw some of Stella’s hair.
How neat to have those two interpretations of Stella next to one another!
Here’s the page we did today:
Can you see how it is a collective effort? She chose the images I should copy, did some of the coloring in, and in the frame in the bottom right corner drew her own Pooh Eating Honey.
I interfere in only two ways: (1) I stop her from blotting everything out with black and (2) I ask her to not push my arm, pen or the book while I’m drawing.