Sunday, February 15, 2015

Is this art? Well, it sure isn't happenstance.

I admit, it doesn't look like much. Yet, there's stuff to appreciate in this simple work of art. And what are these, you might well ask. The answer, I would say, is consistency of style and choice and purity of colour wrapped up in a drive to create. A simple, drive. A still developing drive. But a strong drive, nevertheless.

Little Isla, not yet two, has really taken to painting. The other day she will took my hand and ordered, "Come on." She lead me through my home to the basement stairs. "Paint," she said. It was a statement of fact, of what was she had planned.

We went downstairs. Isla climbed onto her chair. There was a pad of blank paper sitting on the table with paint brushes off to the side. When I get down the paints, she squealed with excitement. The moment the paints were within reach, Isla was chanting, "Orange. Orange. Orange"

She unscrewed the lid on a small jar of orange paint, picked a paint brush and set to work pushing the brush, now wet with paint, into the paper. It left big, colourful blobs of orange paint. Isla worked quickly and consistently. She repeated her violent attack on the paper. I have never seen her paint with such ferocity. Within moments she was done with the orange. She handed me the jar and turned her attention to the other paints.

She chose a yellow jar, removed the lid and looked in at the bright yellow paint. "No," she declared after a moment's consideration. She handed me the open jar along with the lid.

Isla poked at the remaining jars: purple, blue, red and green, clearly considering her colour choices. She settled on green. With a satisfied look, she dipped a big brush deep into the small pot of paint and then rammed the brush into the paper just as she had done with the orange. There were few swirls or tepid touches of the brush to paper this day.

As soon as the two colours touched, she stopped. "Done," she announced, got up and headed for the bathroom to clean-up.


A few days after posting this, Isla got a look at the posting and her featured painting. She immediately recognized her work. I asked her if what we were looking at was a painting of a horse. "No," she said emphatically. I then asked if it was a drawing of a bird. The answer again was a firm "No." But, when I asked her if this was a painting by Isla, a small smile appeared and she said softly, "Yes."

This painting was, and is, important to her. I'm amazed.

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