Sunday, July 19, 2015

Children and art

Little painters

Big painter (photo shoot for upcoming exhibition)

A week of teaching a summer camp and my little neighbours calling to my house to paint and play the guitar (and offer a running commentary on everything from the size of the house - "it's too babyish" - to the "funny smell" of neroli from the oil burner*) showed me once again how much we can learn from children. They do not hesitate; they get stuck right in and intuitively mix the most beautiful colour combinations. They are amazing abstract artists with a good feeling for composition, and they approach figurative painting and drawing with a quirkiness and immediacy older artists can only marvel at.

Working with children always leaves me humbled and in awe of their creativity. We lose so much in the process of growing up, when concepts start to interfere with our innate aesthetic sense. It is so important to nurture our inner child. The next time I stand in front of my easel and catch myself fretting and overthinking, I will remember the sponaneity and enthusiasm of my younger self. And I will think of how my landlady's grandchildren would drop their bicylces and tricyles to come knocking on my door, rattling the letterbox, demanding to paint.

*And, bless their little cotton socks - I may have had an exhausting week, but I was more than happy to give them my full attention, and this is how I evidently came across (with John doing the dishes in the background, to complete the picture): As they declared to their mother when she told them not to bother me, "Marina is never busy!"

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