Last weekend Jon and I loaded up the kids and attended a Family Day event at this really great local arts centre. The point of the day was to expose everyone of all ages to art in a fun, interactive and non-threatening way. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what it would be like to bring Hannah the non-stop-talker and Jacob the non-stop-mover into an art gallery for the afternoon. Hannah, on the other hand, was stoked. As we were driving there she told me, “I am a great artist!”
Hannah had to do the princess pose with the bear before we went inside
The event opened with an interactive portrait-painting session. Local artist Eleanor Hannan was on hand, while professional portrait model Monique posed for us all. Let me tell you, I had no idea how much skill is involved in portrait modeling. Monique held poses and dramatic facial expressions for more than 5 minutes at a time, not moving a muscle. It was pretty amazing. Eleanor created a portrait of Monique using a sewing machine (so cool!) and we all created portraits using paint, crayons and pencils. I haven’t done anything like this in a long, long time. I bet that it’s been in the neighbourhood of 20 years since I tried to draw a portrait. I really enjoyed it.
Here is our family’s little photo gallery. If you click on them you can see the full-size, including the embellishment Hannah added to my portrait. I love that kid’s sense of style, she’s all about colour.
After the portrait session, we headed into the dance studio for theatre games. This is something else I haven’t done in well over a decade. As an earnest 13-year-old with theatrical aspirations, though, I loved this stuff. Sadly, Jacob was losing some patience and he and I played in the hallway while Hannah and Jon pretended to walk through pudding. But the bits I did see were great, as these little kids threw themselves full force into performing.
Finally, to round out the day Hannah created a puppet with a lot of glitter. When she was done she gave me a little performance. More drama, but the good kind, for sure.
I came out of the day feeling empowered. I encourage my kids to explore their creativity. I know that Hannah loves to paint and draw and needle felt. I would hope that she doesn’t stop doing those things that she loves, even if she’s not a professional artist. Because they’re great things. And yet I don’t extend myself the same courtesy. So what if I can’t really draw hands? Does that mean I can’t take pencil to paper and make my own art? Not at all.
What about you? When’s the last time you drew something just for fun? Join me in raiding the crayon box, won’t you?