Artists come from Copycats

There is much to be learned from children.

Thankfully, I have grandchildren who will “keep it fresh” when I retire from providing day care. I’ve watched kids for the better part of my life. One thing I have  attempted, is to reevaluate my preconceived notions of how they learn on a frequent basis. Remembering moments of inspiration, from my own childhood, have proven of extra value.

When I draw flowers, there’s my flashback moment to a time I had seen a fellow middle school student draw a lovely daisy. It was not face-front with even petals (the childhood normal) but “danced” on a crooked stem and drooped to one side. That moment changed my view of flower drawings forever. In fact, it was a moment of artistic maturing that improved how I would approach all future drawings.

The old saying, “Don’t be a copycat.” is total bunk in my modern approach. I’ve found this especially true from watching the children’s visual arts evolve. I spent many years with a policy that I should not draw around the kids. I believed that my skills might discourage them or take away the purity of being original. Luckily, I just couldn’t help joining in at “art time” because, gosh, it’s fun. It became clear to me that many of my kids became happier artists from following my lead.

My most recent example happened last week. I was tired of my blank dry erase board so I created a Springtime scene as I bopped around my kitchen cooking supper. The kids noticed it the next day and studied it often. My 7-year-old granddaughter asked if she might add to the board. I said sure and handed her the markers. When she asked me to see what she had done, I had expected my drawing to have been replaced with a messier version according to her skills. Below is  the amended piece.

Katherine added two flowers and one lady bug. I rest my case.


5 thoughts on “Artists come from Copycats

  1. thelondonflowerlover 05/03/2013 / 10:49 am

    the picture is sooooooooooo lovely……..its got us wanting to get back to simple basics, thanks for sharing this classically charming post

    • Susan 05/03/2013 / 11:05 am

      Thanks very much. Flowers DO need to dance, don’t they? 😉

  2. seeker 05/03/2013 / 9:23 pm

    Children have notice all the little things that adds beauty to the flowers. Your drawing is way better than mine.

    • Susan 05/04/2013 / 7:08 am

      I have been allowed to “play” while I work for most of my life. A great deal! Thanks for your comment.

  3. P.S. I Love Soap Co. 05/06/2013 / 11:59 am

    So cute! To bad you can’t frame it!

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