The Spring of Life: An exploration of one child’s joyous expression through markers and paint

by Mr. Sheehy

How’s that for an article title? I’m looking to make TinyURL creators an absolute necessity.

In reality, this entry is an official gallery showing of my daughter’s art work. At the age of three, I’m pursuing an audience for her work – or, to be more honest, posting it because it’s as good as what I’m making.

Thing is, for some odd reason people are reading this blog. It gets around 45-50 views a day. Isn’t that odd? How is that possible when I write for me and not for you? That sounds bad, I suppose, but it’s true so I might as well type it out. I might like you and all (who are you?), but you don’t motivate me. I’m writing because I love to write. Remember the ol’ writer’s response to the student who asked her if she too could be a writer? As Annie Dillard tells the story, she said, “Well, I don’t know – do you like sentences?”

I’ve always wanted to reply: “YES! I do! I love sentences. Where do I sign up?”

The answer turned out to be WordPress.com.

Anyway, Eldest loves to draw, color, and paint. She does it for herself – for the pleasure of painting, for the pleasure of creating (a pleasure I find essential to what makes us human) – and she does it for us, as presents. She finds it wonderfully motivating to write a note and draw a picture for Grammy, to draw a picture for Daddy, and to make a shower card for baby Alaina. So does Middle, but her coloring generally hasn’t grown substantive enough to be placed in an art show. Eldest’s has, and so I’m gong to share some of her work.

First, we look at a pair of her “guys.” She drew them near the bottom of the page and so didn’t have much room to make their legs as long as usual. But with this first one, she made up for it by the size of the guy’s hat. I like to call it, “Guy with Tall Hat”:

The theme of this next one is similar, but the particular shape of the hat is different. I think I’ll name it, “Party Hat” (with the allusion to Go, Dog, Go, of course):

Next up, a gift for Daddy. She drew these flowers for me and then covered them in grass. I call it, “Flowers for Daddy”:

That’s a good showing of her work with markers. Now we’ll switch to a new medium – paint. This first one is from a while back but I like the color exploration. None of these colors are actually part of the little paint set she used, so I call it “Improv with Color”:

She sticks primarily with color mashes, and it’s difficult for me to hold back the cheapskate in me when she practically empties our supply of an entire color onto the paper. So this weekend I began asking her if she wanted to paint things. This is one of her first, and it’s got a few trees and snow. I should mention that the reason I have been naming all the paintings is that Eldest usually comes up with one great title and then all the rest are direct mashups of it. This was the first – a piece I’d called, “Trees and Snow” and which she called, “Dead Bird Tree”:

But one thing leads to another, and next she painted a face. Thus, it’s called, “Face”:

But the entire time we painted, Eldest continued to ask me to paint. At last, I relented, and we collaborated on this little piece. Eldest would have called it “Dead Bird Tree Beebru”:

Daddy and Eldest Collaborate

Can you find the steaming cup of coffee, the toilet, and Eldest’s name spelled out? If you click on it to view on Flickr, the notes on it give it away . . .

So here ends the showing of the gallery. I hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for coming to the gallery.

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