Last week I felt like I was missing something. Like we were missing something in our school days.
Something that I know we all enjoyed, that we still do from time to time, but in different ways and not to the extent that we had been in Jamaica and Korea.
Now I understand that maybe it is just the natural progression of learning, but I still miss this activity.
The creation, study and appreciation of art.
I spoke with my kids about how I was feeling and asked their opinion. They agreed.
So during our morning reading time that we always start our day with the three of us looked at a book my mother-in-law had lent me about Pablo Picasso’s Guernica.
Last year in Korea we had done artist studies on Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, and Gauguin. Both Gauguin and Picasso had featured exhibits, the first at the Seoul Museum of Art and the other at the Seoul Arts Center(SAC) so they were timely artist studies.
Gauguin did not capture them as Van Gogh and Picasso did. (I admit, I am more of the Gauguin fan) Their favourite paintings are Starry Night, and Starry Night on the Rhone, but they were fascinated with the story behind Picasso’s Guernica.
So last week we looked through the book Picasso’s Guernica – History, Transformations, Meanings by Herschel B. Chipp. The book is a bit intensive for younger readers but offers excellent detail on that particular painting, showing the research, planning, photographs and sketches that went into the large piece.
We talked about the details and the small parts that really came together to make it (Guernica) whole. We talked about the sheer grand size of Guernica.
Then Ronan announced, “okay, I’m done, I want to draw now.” Zahra declared she was going to paint, told me the materials she needed, and they both set themselves up to create.
Ronan was very adamant that he was creating only what he wanted to, his ideas that he currently had in his mind. I just helped them with materials set up and left them to work.
Ronan worked for a hours. Drawing, taking a break, coming back to it, cutting, talking about his ideas and sharing them with me as he worked. He took the entire morning on his piece.
Zahra sat and painted until she was done, no breaks in between and promptly wanted to display her work when she was finished.
Both pieces were beautiful and unique to each person.
As I watched the kids work I remembered what I was missing about our art days.
It wasn’t necessarily the actual pieces that we were creating that I missed, but it was what those art days created for us. A chance to express our thoughts, ideas and emotions in another form. A chance to express something we had learned in a colourful or abstract way. Most importantly, what I missed was the beauty and calm that the process creates for us.