Whilst the rain continues to lash down outside we have been flowing with watercolours inside. I know little of art techniques, but I do enjoy a quiet moment to draw or paint. I have fond memories, from my childhood, of whiling away hours drawing and painting, particularly on weekends away visiting extended family. Dan also used to do a lot of art and I have a beautiful drawing he gifted me for my 21st Birthday in our bedroom. It is my most treasured gift from him.
Sadly, as adults we are often stretched in so many directions; leaving little time for art. And, even if we did have time we’d probably make excuses about not being ‘able to’. As children we never once stopped to think we couldn’t draw or paint; we simply did it. Art was a natural part of growing up for us and it is sad that our busy lives, or simply distractions, take us away from the pleasure we once derived from sitting with paper and pencils sketching away the time.
By Sophie, age 4
Being a stay-at-home-Mummy to three little darlings I find myself with a cleaning brush in hand more often than a paintbrush. I’m more likely to be scrubbing paint off walls and floors than whiling away hours painting canvases. I am always on call to squeeze paint into palettes and supply brushes, sponges and paper.
However, when I do stop and grab a few minutes to paint with my children I absolutely cherish the time. My paintings are childish and clumsy, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the time I’ve spent with my children. When I look at my hasty work I do not critique it, but I reflect on the feelings the act of painting stirred in me and the closeness I felt to my children whilst we quietly created, side by side. The painting reminds me of the need to be patient with my children and accepting.
by Mummy, age irrelevant!
There are frequently smudges and contributions from my children on my work of art. The art is dashed off in a hurry as I am called away to mop up a spilt drink, wipe a bottom, change a nappy, cook dinner, put out the laundry… But I have learned, and am still learning, to not feel frustrated with these interruptions, but to be thankful for the few moments I did have painting. To let go of the perfectionist and self indulgent side of me that would dearly love to have an afternoon to myself to be creative and, instead, honour the time I did have as priceless. For my children are my inspiration, my life and my lasting loves. The few marks of paint on paper are precious keepsakes of a few moments in time shared with the children I love so dearly.
by Charlotte, age 6 (watercolour and acrylic art works)