It’s Not Art Til I Can Tell What It Is

We’re pretty big on art around here. I come from an artsy family (my mom and sister at least), and I think I’m passing that tendency on to my girls. Like me, Toddler enjoys drawing and painting (for the record, I paint about once a decade, but I generally like art and drawing … Toddler would paint every day if she could). There’s so much of it around here, her art is practically ersatz wallpaper, as I’ve documented previously.

One ubiquitous thing about children’s early artwork is you can barely tell what it is. Before I even had kids I knew it’s best to say, “How nice! Tell about what you drew.” and not to say, “What a nice elephant you drew!” only to find out it was actually a picture of herself in her favorite dress.

For three years and nine months I’ve had to ask my toddler what she’s been drawing, but finally, finally I can tell what she’s made without asking … and it’s thrilling!

Toddler has turned a corner.  All of a sudden, following a very quick lesson from me, she can draw a smiley face, a person – whose arms are always up in “hurray!” position – and a sun.

No more guessing what that art’s about! (We’ll save that for pondering Klimt and Klee and the other mysterious modern artists.)

Yes, my daughter drew those! Almost a Picasso, right? (Cue the laughs.) She drew our family in our yard, our family and friends with the girls wearing pink dresses, and the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz (with a funnel hat, she says, and golden wings, but we’ll let that slide).

We’ll continue working on variety, but wow, what a start! It would be fascinating to see her start to draw actual animals and distinct people – more than just putting a mustache on her dad and a dress on me – and I’ve even seen a great drawing channel on YouTube, but I don’t want to push Toddler too much. I think we’ll keep drawing together, and I’ll show her a thing here or there. Incrementally is the way to go – right?

How do you encourage your children to develop their drawing skills? Do you have a laissez-faire attitude or are you already showing your kids specifics?

All I have to say is phew! I don’t have to pretend to bowled over by spaghetti blobs of “princesses” anymore….

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9 thoughts on “It’s Not Art Til I Can Tell What It Is

  1. Yay! It is indeed thrilling when you realize that your child can create semi-realistic representations. It’s a sign of oh-so-much, though of course abstract art should be encouraged as well. You know I love the Art for Kids Hub channel, but R kind of just started figuring representation out organically. It does seem that she likes a lesson from other people much more than from me. And lol on the varying interpretations (elephant vs glamorous self-portrait) 😆.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m so thankful you posted about that channel! I was racking my mom brain to remember who it was that mentioned it (DUH it was from you, now that I think about it, ugh).
      That’s funny that R likes a lesson from others more. I get that vibe from my toddler – she has very limited patience for my teaching. Maybe I try too hard, lol.

      Like

  2. My girls are so comfortable drawing and painting, and the work they create is incredible. I remember a day, though, when my oldest struggled to sketch a structure that Algonquin indians lived in (I think.) I showed her just a simple technique for sketching, and she ran with it.

    Today she designs tattoos for friends at college, and her drawings are on walls everywhere. I’m so proud she took that little lesson and ran with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh they are beautiful~you have a right to be proud! What a big jump, eh? We both cannot wait to see the next card she does of scene from your family or a ballerina too! What a girl! Or Linda Mason!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Kids, Why Will You Learn From Your Teacher But Not Me? | welcometothenursery

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