Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just what did we learn? (includes a link to cool free classes)

It's three o'clock.  The time of day when a lot of school kids are getting onto busses... having had their fill of knowledge for the day.  Quadratic equations on top of dangling participles on top of the life cycle of a Great Winged Petrel, all wrapped up in the period table of the elements.  Gawsh.  It's when I start thinking about all the "stuff" my kids' schooled counterparts are learning during the day that I can easily slip into self-doubt.

Especially when it's raining and my tummy hurts.  And we missed music lessons because my tummy hurts.

Orange Flower's
Purple Life
My daughter started the day with a paint brush.  Let me preface by saying that this weekend she really pushed herself... and she created some of the best eight-year old art work ever to grace our cluttered dining room table.

This morning, however, it was as if all the inner turmoil of every starving artist on the planet was unleashed through my little girl.  She woke up and went straight to the easel.  (yeah, no coffee)  She started sketching a cake, which looked like crap.  She erased the cake.  She whined.

She just COULD NOT think of anything good to paint.  I suggested that if she paint a coffee mug, I would buy it if no-one else did (at her future exhibition).

NO WAY, Mom.  She hates painting mugs,  she sucks at them, she said she was a horrible artist and she was never going to do art again. (stomp stomp stomp)

I suggested breakfast.  She was NOT hungry.  (seriously, coffee... I mean for me)

I suggested painting a portrait of her guitar.  She was sure the drawing she made sucked, and could I erase it FOR her because her arm hurt from erasing.

I suggested painting it up really close so you could just see the strings and neck.  That was stupid.  I suggested a break.  She thought a break was good but only if she could watch something.

Lonely Pear in Pink
Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  But only until her brother woke up, because I was NOT going to start the day with tv and gaming with HIM.  That was a different battle.

And so, the exhausted uninspired artist rested.

At some point Chay rolled out of bed (he had been up late into the night reading an awesome book called "Okay for Now."  He started into a cupcake-baking project all on his own [bonus].

Finally KK, (after asking me to stay OUT) began to apply paint to canvas.  Honestly, I had a hard time withholding critique.  But I did tell her I knew she could do better.  While concentric squares of various random colors were okay... anyone could do that.  (don't be hard on me, she obviously hadn't even put thought into the color scheme) The things she painted, and worked on diligently over the weekend, which showed her talent for perspective and lighting and color, were breathtaking.  I told her if she wasn't feeling inspired then gosh-darnit don't paint.  Start up again when it feels right.

I braced myself for more tears and throwing, hoping she wasn't grabbing for the muddy orange-ish water in the brush-cup.  But she didn't throw.  She didn't say anything.  Had my honesty actually worked?  Yay, something right!  I think I will be okay after all.

Am I getting off track?  It's three o'clock and we are finally at the library, despite my the interesting feelings happening in my stomach.  The kids got in about fifteen minutes of Muzzy language online and each checked out some science and lit magazines before Chay jumped upstairs to get in on the origami-bookmark-making session in the Teen Zone [] .  Pssst... they also offer free tutoring every Wednesday night from 6pm-8pm. AND a free Guys Read Book club.  Check the link!

I sit here on my computer, finally gently sipping a cup of coffee, and writing this blog post.

I have to get KK to jazz at 4:15pm, and we plan on the rec center tonight for lap swimming.  My *hope* is that we will have quiet time tonight to read and such.  The kids will practice their piano and guitar... and so it's not going to be a day wasted.  Let's rundown the learning for today:  music, foreign language, art, culinary arts and phys ed.  Okay, so if we approach this like college... tomorrow we handle math, spelling, science and geography (plus music and phys ed again).

I think I will be okay after all.  I think we all will.

And that bit of art work KK made today... well, I looked at it again... and it was all right.  The beautiful thing about art, I told my daughter, is that everyone likes something different.  Otherwise this world would be one heckuva boring place.


  1. Her concentric squares "it's ok" painting looks like a tunnel through some good times and some less good times to a brighter, sunnier happier tomorrow, to me. For what it's worth...

    1. I know.. It's growing on me... I think that what I was frustrated about was not the art... but the attitude!!! :D

  2. Are those her artwork? They are fantastic!

  3. Yes. She is an artist with an artist's temperament!!! LOL, and thanks!