I heard artist Mo Willems on NPR last night (Getting Adults to Draw). He observes that "people stop drawing when they decide they're not good at it...[but] Nobody stops playing basketball once they realize they're not going to be a professional."
Hear, Hear! Keep drawing!
He says, and I firmly believe, that in order for children to want to draw and to continue that into adulthood, they need to see the adults around them draw. They need adults to draw with them. No matter what our "skill-level" or whatever hang ups we may have about being - or not being - "an artist," if we want our children to draw/paint/knit/sew/make, we must be doing it too. And really - what a wonderful assignment for us as parents, you know? Of benefit to us all...
He talks about Family Draw, which mirrors a bit of what we do here with our Family Drawing Time (that I wrote about in The Creative Family). Though, Mo's version of Family Draw involves a big piece of paper (or chalkboard), and a theme on which everyone draws - adults and children alike.
Inspired by his words, we had a Family Draw last night in the time between dinner and bedtime. I rolled out our butcher block paper onto the dining table (These rolls are great for so many things. Mine's leftover from my mom's teaching days. I have seen the rolls available here, though I've never purchased from them.) We used the most basic and easy of supplies (it was the end of the day, after all) - just crayons, pencils, and colored pencils. And then we each took turns choosing a 'theme' for all to draw for five minutes or so:
Mama - Your favorite bird
Calvin - The back of your favorite baseball jersey
Ezra -Something that reminds you of Leonardo Da Vinci
Adelaide - Draw the sun
Papa - Rain on new leaves
...and round and round it went.
A very good, loud, silly, fun, art-filled time was had by all. I know I've said it a million times before, but there is something truly magical that happens when a group of people - and especially a family - creates together. On equal playing field, the essence of who each of us are truly shines, and a connection happens that is unlike any other.
And I dare say that after putting all the kids to bed, that table full of art was awfully tempting to both Steve and I....especially when compared with the alternative of end-of-day kitchen cleanup. Hmnn, which to choose?