Watching My Children Make Art 2

School is almost over for the year. Just a four days left. My son has begun to bring home a year’s worth of art projects from his art class he attends once per week as part of their normal curriculum. He enjoys art, and loves to draw while at home or in the car, when he doesn’t have his nose buried in the iPad playing Minecraft. I have to impose limits on his development plans for a city in the sky, or a clinic that will return zombie villagers to a non-zombie state, all noble and ambitious plans, but I feel it necessary as a mother to raise my child to know when to call it quits on video games and return to the real

The first item he brought home was a clay mask. Carrying it with an almost white-knuckled grip to prevent dropping it on the concrete walkway in front of the school, he climbs into the car and immediately begins to explain the tools he used to create the scars and hash marks on the face and the teacher’s instructions on what to do if hot glue dripped onto a finger in order to avoid burns. This textured creation possesses two mismatched eye holes and a mouth in the shape of flared lips. There are raised patches where clay was added. He has painted the surface blue with red and light blue spots. Attached to the scalp are two dozen pipes cleaners in various bright shades, twisted into curls. Conveniently, there is a wire on the back so we can hang it on his bedroom wall.

The next school day, he brings out a gigantic folder full of drawings, protected carefully from the rain that is misting up the sky. The folder itself, a folded sheet of butcher paper, is decorated with a scene including trucks, airplanes, and stick figures. Inside, we has tucked away several pencil drawings of silly knights, a tracing of his hand with the illusion of a covering cloth simulated by straight and curved lines, and the Dia de los Muertos creation of a skeleton in bright pastels on black paper. Seeing this hanging in the school last fall was the first time I saw how my son depicted his skeletons in squares and rectangles. Recently, he has changed to forming skeletons out of more circular shapes, and I miss the rectangles.

I remind myself I need to look in the activity catalog for a summer drawing class for him, a place where he can learn a few new tips and tricks for drawing what his imagination thinks up. I want to nurture this outlet, as drawing can be used to purge the mind of clutter and fill it with dreams. Perhaps one day he’ll design a graphic novel, or a popular iPad game.

Once school is over for the year, he wants to start on his book project. He has some characters to draw, which I will scan into JPEG form so we can add the text and see how it looks in Createspace. He wants to give a copy to his teacher once it’s finished. He stated this morning it will be strictly for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, and not for older kids. We’ll see how this turns out.





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