Build an Artist

BeFunky_003katpaintingMy 7-year-old granddaughter presented me with this wonderful watercolor painting. Her mother told me that Kat had labored over it for a long time.

According to the artist, it is a self-portrait in a green field on a sunny day. She added a flock of crows for her bird-loving grandmother. As she explored the watercolor medium, her smile “bled” downward. Kat’s mom told me that she was not at all discouraged by that event. As all artists do, she embraced the “accident” and exclaimed, “I like that. Now, my clothes look brighter.”

Katherine had originally planned to give her masterpiece to me for my birthday but April would be just too long to wait. I will be buying a frame for my Kat Original this weekend and have already reserved a spot to display it above our TV. Of course, I insisted that she sign and date her work.

The sparkle in her eyes is something that I’ll never forget. She gasped when I showed her where her work would hang. This reminded me of how important it is to marvel at the artwork kids produce. First, it’s just plain beautiful. Secondly, it is the building of an artist … our way of showing them how wonderfully unique and precious artistic expression is.

The TV show Everybody Loves Raymond was a comedy that drew its humor from poking fun at a family’s “dysfunctional” moments. I noticed one thing, that I hope you will look for, if you had not already noticed. Children’s drawings were framed and displayed on the walls of their home. I loved seeing that and this blog post seemed a good place to bring that up. 🙂

Advertisements

Olympic Timing with Imaginary Friends

My 6 year old granddaughter, Katherine, spent much of our recent vacation in her new pool. It is only about 30 inches deep and 10 feet across but a welcomed prop for our steamy week. We were at our woodland camp, so the Summer Olympics were watched by generator power as recaps on the morning news.

She played alone most of the time during our one week stay but the Olympic theme saved those days. Katherine was an Olympian and I played the role of her diving coach. Her imaginary friends, Zabby and Alodda, made a surprise appearance out of retirement (from Hampton Beach) and participated too. (See my Zabby Eight Update category for more adventures.)

Katherine would stand a little more than waist deep in the pool. I graded her leaps and dives according to the least splash and best form. Zabby and Alodda would try to keep up but Katherine seemed to have the most natural ability. I was really impressed by her progress. She learned to keep her feet together and managed to have her fingertips, top of her head and body enter the water in that order. If she did not leap high enough a belly flop would disqualify her.

This weekend she is going to her other grandparents’ place where there is a much deeper pool. I’m excited to find out how she uses her new skills.The 2012 Summer Olympics were well timed indeed and I’m sure she’ll never forget them. Wonder if Zabby and Alodda will be traveling with her?

The Game of Favorites

I just don’t like the word favorite. It is an exclusive term that means nothing to me. My favorite things are harder to pin down than an accurate weather forecast.

There are too many wonderful feelings, colors, people, and ideas to play favorites. Gosh, I enjoy the rummaging that takes place when I’m ask about my favorite. The flashes from one delightful image to another, makes me smile, but I never was good at decision-making and really don’t care to choose.

Favorite choosing is a waste of time and subject to time also. At any given moment your favorite can easily be “up for grabs”, don’t you think?

I dearly love my dog. He is one of many “dog loves” of my life. To say he is my all-time favorite diminishes the love I’ve had for others and the love I hope to have for others too.

I will be blessed with a new granddaughter in September. It’s hard for me to image any grandchild as precious as Katherine, yet I know there is room for more. Evelyn will be my favorite Evelyn. That is all I can proclaim. She may be Katherine’s favorite sister if her mom’s design of her being the “final” child holds true. Only exclusive things can really, truly, hold the title of favorite and, in my world and yours, so few life experiences are exclusive enough to qualify.

Next time someone asks for your favorite, hold up your hand and say, “There’s no such thing.”

Doesn’t this all sound picky?

I think labeling favorites is the more picky endeavor. Count me out, please.

Kids Book Review- Mrs. McTats and her Houseful of Cats

I had my granddaughter staying with me this weekend. We went to the local library and chose a few books for her to enjoy. We sat outdoors on a lovely Saturday and enjoyed the warm sun in the company of books.

My favorite of our choices was “Mrs.  Mc Tats and her Houseful of Cats”.

It had rhyming text. THAT always make reading fun. It was also very humorous. THAT also makes reading fun.

The artwork illustrations were very charming and gave the book a lot of character.

Mrs. Mc Tats has a ritual of leaving her cozy cottage each morning to go to market. After choosing  something to bring home for dinner, she repeatedly finds new cats scratching at her door. She welcomes them and names them. As the story develops, she ends up with twenty-five cats all with names starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. The last letter begins the  name of a surprise 26th visitor at her door.

Katherine enjoyed the repeated sing-song rhyming and surprises. She especially enjoyed the illustrations. She read it almost all by herself, once she became familiar with the rhythm of the story.

As I read my own books, Kat read hers for much of our afternoon. I could tell that being a “reader” was giving her a lot of pleasure. I recommend Mrs. Mc Tats as a great” interest keeper” and a good beginning book for readers of 6 years old. I also recommend being a reader yourself and inspiring this joy in kids through example.