I’ve had this picture on my desktop for a few weeks. I lifted it from one of SW’s illustrated tales, about a difficult girl, Amy, who was being forced to visit her horrible grandmother, who Amy constantly referred to as “an old fish.”
Children get a lot of creative mileage from their relationships with adults. First, the awkwardly connected shapes and colours, and the disproportionate eyes and noses that have you looking sideways in the bathroom mirror for weeks on end. Then the words come, along with the hard-to-explain messages written gleefully in school notebooks. I remember a tense moment when our daughter’s teacher congratulated us on the ‘good news’. “Heather is very excited, I’m sure,” said the woman, beaming. “When is the baby due?”
“Ah, yes, well, Heather has a vivid imagination, as you know…”
The teacher, moving on quickly, “And have you seen her artwork? We’ve been learning about dinosaurs. Aren’t they wonderful?”
But I’ll take any number of situations like that. It proves that the a child is taking note of the world around them, trying to make sense of it, and using creative expression to communicate their conclusions.
There was an interesting piece I read, earlier this week, by Kevin Jones, the headmaster of St John’s College School, Cambridge. Some brilliant quotes from children of various ages. Here are just a few, but if you have five minutes, the full article is well worth the effort.
“Art is a break for my mind. In all of the confusion of life I can find peace through it. I can experience my thoughts and feelings in a physical form.”
“When I’m drawing or painting I feel I can escape to the place that I am drawing.”
“I love making sculpture as anything is possible, and as you work it opens up ideas in your head.”