You can learn a lot from children.
If you tune in.
And pay attention.
They truly are Wise Beyond Their Years.
The first Art Club of the school year met on October 13, 2011.
It's an after school club.
We meet for one hour, twice a month, twelve times during the school year.
Not nearly enough times to make art together.
That's why each student received a new sketchbook.
Pristine white pages.
Bound within a hard black cover.
For the children's artwork.
I wrote their first name on the cover and the spine.
In silver marker.
I held one up.
Before our first making art activity.
And read aloud the note I'd written.
And glued inside each book…
"Welcome to Art Club!
This sketchbook is yours to keep.
A place to doodle, draw and dream.
It is yours.
Try new things!
Stretch your wings and soar.
Remember, YOU are the artist!
What you create is going to be yours.
No one else’s.
It is unique to you.
That makes it special.
Just like you.
There is no right or wrong in art.
Think outside the box.
Color outside the lines.
Do your best!
Give it your all!
Again and again.
Never stop creating.
Shine your Light.
For His Glory.
Children don't need this reminder though.
To, "Never stop creating."
It's adults that do.
We're the one who forget.
I watched this group of twenty three children.
As they opened their new sketchbooks.
And began to fill them up.
Children are so creative.
They just ARE.
While working on their projects the room was quiet.
Even though I'd said, "It's Club, not Class. You can talk."
Then, projects were put away.
And the sketchbooks opened.
Pencils poised and ready.
Ah, yes, THIS is Art Club.
Sharing their pictures with their friends.
I started to second guess my plan.
To send the sketchbooks home with them.
Partly, because I wanted to peek inside each one.
But I'd told them, "This sketchbook is yours to keep."
And I meant it.
Though I did encourage them.
To bring it back next time.
For drawing in.
When The Project was complete.
This is my second year teaching Art Club.
Oh, how I love making art with the children.
They only need me to hand out supplies.
And say, "Go!"
They are ready.
With overflowing ideas.
And boundless creative energy.
And so much talent.
They are so good for me.
I look as forward to Club Days as they do.
Maybe more so.
Because I know what project we're going to do.
For them, it's a surprise, each time.
They are Up For Anything.
What a thrill it was for me.
To give them each a new sketchbook.
A place for them to draw.
On all those Days In Between Club Times.
I bet they fill 'em up fast.
Faster than me.
I'm still workin' on mine.
From last December.
I'm about halfway through.
Give me time.
I'm gettin' there.
I haven't lost The Fun Of It.
Making Art, that is.
"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child" ~ Pablo Picasso
How I LOVE this quote! The first I'd heard of it was on this sign, during the two weeks I recently spent at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, as my husband recovered from colon cancer surgery. It appeared as shown, in the center of a 4th floor display of children's artwork. I walked by there several times a day as I walked to the nearby cafe for meals. Sometimes I'd sit on a bench by the window, to drink it in, as the children's artwork soothed my frazzled nerves. The main reason I left the hospital when I did, ahead of my still recovering and captive there husband, was because our children were ready to see one of us and needing to sleep in their own beds, instead of at Grandma and Grandpa's house. I needed them too. Another factor, was that Art Club started in two days time, and I didn't want to miss the first club of the year. After my husband was diagnosed at the end of May, the teacher who oversees the clubs asked me several times if I was sure about remaining the Art Club Volunteer for the coming school year. I assured her, I was very sure. That, selfishly, I needed it for me. As an outlet for all the emotion of being a caregiver with a loved one fighting cancer. I needed the joy of it and the fun of it in my life, the challenge too. Something else to think about and motivation to keep creating. Even in the midst of this storm. She understood, and was quite relieved when I texted her that Tuesday evening to say I was home, and ask were the supplies here, and could I see her and collect them on Wednesday, the day before the first Art Club. It was a whirlwind. But it all came together. We meet again this coming Thursday! I. Can't. Wait. It's going to be so fun! Even though I'm not sure what our project is yet, because it depends on the mood I'm in, on the day we meet. You can bet It'll Be A Good One, because my husband was sprung from the hospital yesterday, after three weeks and two days away from home. He surprised us, by showing up at the door, around six o'clock in the evening. Last night my whole family slept under the same roof, and half the family is sleeping in, still. Life is very good. Right now. In this moment.
© 2011 Janean Baird, Turquoise Tangles
The Pink Rooster
When Art Calls You Home (Part 1)
Too Young For This
he gets it from you (A.T.B.)