Isn't it true that if we slow down enough and pay careful attention, it is our children who show us what we are made of? My cousin told me once that many times she's heard the expression "I've lost myself to motherhood." She feels just the opposite, she has found herself in motherhood... (now carrying her fourth babe! - Hi Blaik!) I know what she means, I imagine many of you do as well, our little ones can be our greatest teachers. My own girl doesn't feel quite so little anymore (I can't believe we will be celebrating twelve years next month!). She has so many of her own plans now, her own goals... my job these days feels more about supporting her own ideas than showing her new ones. And this girl is reaching for the stars with her college goals... I have my work cut out for me.
Emily took to drawing about two years ago, filling notebooks with these funky fashionista ladies... almost always including some sort of message within. Sometimes those messages are bold and obvious, other times they are discretely hidden.
This girl on the left is one of my favorites. I think it's the crown of daisies on her pretty little head. Maybe it's the freckles.
I remember when she drew this one... and how sweet I thought it was that she included prayer flags. My mama heart grew that day.
"You are here, now what are you going to do?"
It was early in the fall that Emily came home and announced she would be displaying (and selling!) her art at a school festival. We had many weeks to prepare, and really wanted to take our time enjoying the process, thinking through what she wanted to offer and how we might go about making that happen.
She decided on prints... maybe 6 or so to choose from, she would stock 5 of each... they should be professionally printed and tucked into those fancy cello sleeves that all the big-time etsy artists use... they should be very reasonably priced... and there should be free candy offered at her table. I am pleased to report that all was accomplished! Emily's display looked beautiful (which I have zero photos of) and she sold many prints of her art that day. I think she made a lot of people smile too.
To get the ball rolling, we had decided to set aside an entire weekend back in early October and do nothing but draw... we stocked up on good paper, excellent pens, plenty of good tunes and yummy eats. For two days we sat together and drew and drew and drew. I loved watching how Emily just went for it with each and every drawing. She didn't always feel they were perfect, but she did feel that each one captured and expressed what she had intended. I decided to follow her lead, let go of my own inhibitions about whether or not I could technicallyy draw, and just play. I played endlessly that weekend. Sometimes I would float around on etsy, finding something that appealed to me, and tried to see if I could duplicate it. Other times I would draw based on certain pen colors that I wanted to use. Most importantly though, I just kept going, because Emily kept going... and I had decided that my job would be to stay right there by her side for the weekend. Cheerleading, motivating, switching up the Pandora stations, keeping the cocoa flowing... the glamorous role of an artist's assistant.
Through it all though, I discovered that I actually liked a few of the things I made! I also fell head over heels in love with the process of making those few pretty things, it was so mellow and relaxing... like playing in a zen garden for two days. My little resident artist had quietly converted me for sure. Ever since that early October weekend, we spend a great deal of time doodling together. We talk about different techniques for drawing eyes, lips and leaves. We discuss various points on pens, and which ones we love the most (Emily - the micron brush... me - the micron .005). Mostly we just enjoy the new mutual interest/love that we now share.It's really, really lovely. She is almost twelve after-all ( I know, I mentioned it already...), these shared interests have more value than I can explain. Maybe you can imagine, and there is no need for explanation. It's all very good.
Thank you for visiting this little back story of how my recent drawings came to be. And an extra big thank you to my girl for showing me the way.
I couldn't have done it without her.