Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Original Artistic Creations

Around here lately, we are all school all the time. As in, the three big kids start school in less than a month. August 21, to be exact. Please anticipate me being a goopy, puddley mess around that time. After a few days I will sit up, blink a few times, and then allow the dawning comprehension of ALL OF THE FREE TIME settle upon my shoulders. But those first few days I may need grace.

"All school all the time" for my kids means art. Maybe I really mean they are "all art all the time." But for my kids, in their minds school = art. We have talked (at length) about what school really means. How it won't be snacks and coloring and naps (pshaw) all day long. But no matter how much I jaw on about learning! friends! gym! books! etc! they invariably tune me out and frolic in their happy imaginary worlds of cookies, milk, and unlimited supplies of Crayola markers.

Who can stand against such an amazing imaginary world?

Anyway, the boys will be entering kindergarten in our district and C will be doing preschool. We skipped preschool for her brothers for a myriad of reasons, not least because they were completely not ready. She is actually ready for college at the ripe age of 3, so preschool it is. (Note: We have a couple of preschool options, and for our first choice we've been banking on a state-funded district preschool. Not completely unexpectedly, the program may have lost funding. This is Illinois, after all, where we are so deeply in debt that early childhood programs in poor areas get cancelled. Naturally. And we jail our governors just for good measure, at this point. Ahem.) So I'm going from four children at home all day to one, and while I'm trying to hold it together, they are so excited they asplode.

Where was I? Oh, yes, all art all the time. This is quite literally what they do with, say, 75% of their time. I put a big canvas basket of our coloring books, markers, colored pencils, crayons, scissors, and notebooks on the dining room table, and they go to town at their leisure. One of the reasons that I set aside an art wall in the boys' "new" room was the glut of "Mama, this is yours!"-pieces I had piling up. I don't save very much of their stuff, but I am not so heartless as to recycle everything right away (I wait a few days), thus creating a need for display. The art wall was borne, and now we have an excuse to go nuts with the markers.

And go nuts they do.

Their skills have improved astronomically just over the summer, and now I can almost tell exactly what they are trying to draw before they actually tell me. Everyone uses scissors like pros, and B has taught himself how to write beautifully. (J has been doing it for awhile.) Even C is experimenting with writing, and I'm happy just having them happy indoors during the hottest, meanest summer in many years.

And yes, that was a long, rambling introduction to a few funny pictures they have drawn lately. Indulge me.

First up: a portrait by B.


The conversation that my husband had with his son about this:

B: "Daddy, this is you!" [not a coffeepot, sorry, folks]
S: "Wow, dude! Thanks! But why am I frowning?"
B: "Because you are surprised."
S: "Oh-kay. What am I holding?"
B: "A beer."
S: "Then I should not be frowning."

Next up: another portrait, also by B, but this time of his current favorite toy, a plastic brachiosaurus named Stripes.


He wrote that himself, in case we weren't able to identify the subject after he himself told us about it the first 287 times. ("Stripes has 39 stripes. And his neck is 10 inches long.")

Next up: sister's interpretation of the same brachiosaurus.


Her explanation: "He is looking up."

Finally, another drawing by C. As a way of explanation (in case you don't know her personally), King Peter the Boy is obsessed (let me repeat that: OBSESSED) with unicorns. She breathes them, plays them, dreams them, sings about them, wants to be them. They are her people, and I frequently find her in tears because she cannot actually become a unicorn. Being a girl is way less cool, people. I feel her.

So. A unicorn, as done by my unicorn-loving C.


Thank you for indulging me.

(I don't have any art by J, sorry. He mostly colors in and hasn't gone for much original creation lately. I'll keep an eye out.)

(Please be gentle with me these next few weeks. I am taking the boys school supply shopping in a couple of days, and registration is next week.)

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