“Machine Holding Two Crystals,” acrylic and Sharpie on canvas, 2014 Nicole and Jasper
If you can’t beat them, let them join you.
But only sometimes, because letting kids paint with acrylics and gouache and expensive brushes, for me, is stressful and energy-sapping. I feel less creative when my children paint with me, because I find I do more monitoring than anything else. And while it is true that watching children be artistic is inspiring, I have to bottle that inspiration up and save it for when I’m alone. Every once in a while, though, we create a few gems together. Literally.
This is a collaboration between my four-year-old boy and me. We both painted the background, then I set the canvas aside to dry. The next day I came back and he had drawn the “Machine.” Weeks later I decided to add the crystals, inspired by some ClipArt I had seen on Pinterest.
As with any painting that I’ve accomplished recently, I am proud of this. Not because of the way it looks, though (I could critique it to pieces), but that I’ve done it. On to the next one!