Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boy Artist

Ever since S could hold a crayon, T and I have been encouraging him to draw, color and paint, and ever since S could hold a crayon he's been fighting tooth and nail to put it down and just go play. T and I were starting to think he'd never learn to draw a stick figure, let alone write his name. I couldn't figure it out; T has two fine art degrees (one of which is in drawing and sculpture), and I spent most of my childhood on the floor of my bedroom hunched over a paint-by-number or a drawing pad. I always assumed any kid of ours would love art. Instead, our first born seemed to regard it as a punishment anytime I asked him to draw me dinosaur. Occasionally, I'd convince him to draw a creature or two, but these attempts were only successful about once a month. T and I consoled ourselves with the idea that S is more scientifically inclined and is obsessed with nature, and drawing, painting and coloring just weren't all that interesting to him.

But then in the midst of my maternity leave, something clicked with S. We'd been practicing writing his name, a torturous 10 minutes a day for both of us, and as his handwriting improved so too did his competence with a pencil. Before I knew it, S was drawing creatures and dinosaurs all on his own without any provocation from me, and very soon he was coloring in coloring books (something that had always seemed boring to him in the past).


To keep him motivated I ordered some of Dover Press's nature coloring books and a big box of 120 of Crayola's finest crayons, and when they came in the mail it was like Christmas all over again at our house. S spent most of an entire day coloring snakes of the world and prehistoric reptiles.



Since then we've had lots of fun coming up with projects for S. T got out his projector, and S and I traced animals onto watercolor paper. I spent the next day teaching him how mix watercolors and paint. We also spent a day making paper dinosaurs.


The past few weeks have brought numerous drawings and paintings, and even a couple of homemade storybooks. Our house is now full of crayon-scribbled monsters, dinosaurs, cardinals, aardvarks and screech owls, and now some part of every day is devoted to making art and S enjoys every moment of it.

5 comments:

Swanski said...

I have saved both of my kids first drawings. I always loved asking "so what is this?"....before assuming what it looked like. Your son is quite talented!! (p.s. love the smell of a new crayon box).

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

My father was an artist who tried to force all if us to draw, paint, etc. I didn't want to do it because I was being forced to do it. I didn't take up making art until I was in my mid 30's. Kids will come to it on their own, on their terms, in their time.

Wendy said...

So great that you both provided the encouragement he needed when he came into this at his own speed, at his own time. And, fantastic that even with new baby in the picture, you're both taking the time to support this new interest so fully! Exciting stuff!

Leanne said...

I have a BFA and art is in my blood. So far, my oldest boy doesn't enjoy art AT ALL!!!! (sad mommma) and my middle guy shows a lot of talent, but only a little interest. I thought my kids would love art. I hope your little guy keeps up the good work. There is nothing better than a little kid drawing on the fridge.

suzy bomgardner said...

Hooray! I love reading your blog, lady. You alway give me such encouragement. Oz fights me so hard with anything "creative." He says "You just do it, mommy." Maybe there is still hope? How great that S is now a tiny artist!

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