Thursday, December 02, 2004

No Longer Abstract

My son is learning how to paint and draw cars, trains, trucks...anything with wheels. When we was younger, he'd often ask us to draw these things for him, over and over. I think he was trying to understand how to draw them. I was a little reluctant to draw for him, since I didn't want his concepts to stay limited by what he saw me draw (I'm not what I'd call an excellent sketcher). I really wanted him to develop his own ideas of what things looked like, and how to draw them. He'd often ask other people to draw vehicles for him, so he did get some other versions of the same objects. This is good. Still, he was with me much of the time, so he was largely exposed to my childlike drawings.

One thing I've noticed, and it doesn't show up in the paintings depicted here, is that he's sort of picked up my habit of drawing a few curly lines coming out the back of a truck or car to resemble exhaust. That is definitely a Mommy thing. However, he sometimes draws straight lines behind a vehicle, and says they're meant to show the speed of the truck. I don't know where he got that. Maybe he invented it on his own...? Hard to say.

Speaking for myself, I know I was intimidated by my mom's artistic talent when I was younger. I could never draw as well as she could, so my drawing style is stuck somewhere around age 10. Maybe that's also why I don't want to influence my son too much in the art department. It's not that I draw exceptionally well; it's just that I want him to be himself in his artwork.

It's a fine line, I think, between helping and hindering.