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What we learn from children


At a party last weekend, our friends Chris and Megan brought along their three year old boy Caleb, who did the above drawing in collaboration with another kid there. After Caleb had brought it over to show his parents, he put it down on the table and immediately wandered off towards something else that had taken his attention, as children do. My eyes stayed on the drawing. I am always attracted to the colourful drawings of children, the way they instinctively place the objects face-on, squarely in the picture space; the way their lines are so strong and definite; the way they make the most basic possible mark -- the scribble -- which is nevertheless so expressive; the way they gravitate to hot colours. Except for the level of intention, Caleb's drawing is not so different from this:

"Neige", Joan Mitchell

Whenever Patty and I teach the Journal and Sketchbook class, we talk about the drawings we do as children, how unselfconscious they are, and how many of us have that educated out of us as our academic careers progress. Caleb's drawing is a prime example of what we are talking about: that naive spontaneity that we strive to recapture as adults.

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Comments

  1. People strive for perfection while we are already perfect

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe we're perfect, but there's still room for improvement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. haha. I guess I am talking on the level of creativity. In other aspects, I can see how we could improve but who knows if we improve if the direction is entirely desirable.

    ReplyDelete

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