Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Son, The Artist

This post is to remind you (and me) that you never can tell what hidden talents lie lurking within your child.

Munchkin does not "do" art.

He just doesn't.  He isn't really into it.  Probably a good thing my parents swapped birthday present idea from an easel to a bike.  Grin.

He is happiest in his sandpit, or with a large baking dish of flour and an assortment of trucks and diggers.  Seriously, when it is wet out or he is unwell, flour is the way to go.  It is worth the small amount that always accidentally makes it onto the dining table, carpet, his hair, my pants, and sundry other unexpected locations.  Playdough is another big occupier, as is his very basic duplo set (we should really get him some more but any unnecessary spending is on complete hold at present - he's even wearing long-sleeved tops that are now too short 'cos I figure it is spring so who is going to care that the end before his wrist!).

Do you get the picture?
My son likes to run, to climb, to feel tactile things (but not get his hands yucky-wet-dirty mind you!).
He does not bring me home paintings, or drawings, or any form of artwork from preschool other than that coerced from him by some conniving teacher (or myself!).
I force him to draw a picture for family member's birthdays and sponsored children from time to time.
He has a drawing book, washable pens, twistable crayons, and even some pencils.
He periodically uses them, but would much rather be doing something else, thank you very much.

Yet, my son is an artist.

He drew kiwis on our windows one morning.  They had a body, legs, feet, and beak.  Unfortunately he rubbed them off the condensation before I could whip out the camera to properly wow people with his genius.

Then this week, he blew me away with this:
We'd had his latest snail pets out of the teranium.  I asked if he wanted to draw some.  He did, so Mummy seized the moment.  We talked about what they needed.  "A big round shell and feelers with two eyes on the the feelers, and two little feelers."

I drew a snail.  Then we held the pen together and drew one.  Then he drew one by himself with me helping position for the tail, the feelers, etc.

THEN my son drew a snail by himself.  Legend!
As we've had a lot to do with snails (okay, that might even be an understatement), he knows their shape.  We "own" snails, we make playdough snails, and I've drawn them previously on request (over and over and over again!).  It was fascinating hearing Munchkin verbalise what was needed, showing strong understanding of the anatomy of a snail, and then being able to replicate that in drawing.  I think my "scaffolding" his learning by gradually removing my help made a big difference to his willingness to have a try.

I then asked if he would draw me a smiley face.  So he did!  Talk about amazing concentration.
We talked about what a face has as he drew.  He did the round circle, added eyes, then a big mouth, then a nose.  Then he put hair, and two ears.  What a fabulous face.

I have, of course, attempted several times since to get him to draw me another smiley face.  Nope.  Not interested.  But, the secret is out. I now know he can draw quite well!  I think the issue is that he wants it to look like what I draw, so if he's tired, out of sorts, not concentrating, anything basically, then Munchkin decides that drawing is too hard.  Yet he's really good at it!  Having something specific to draw that is strongly connected to our recent play and activities seems to help engage him too.

Have you been surprised by the hidden talents of your kids (or even yourself or your spouse) at times?


1 comment:

MaxineD said...

Oh yes - Boyo did an awesome first face that morphed into a person then got wiped off the blackboard so fast it wasn't funny - and he also would not repeat !!
Blessings and love