Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lessons from Lucy: 'Play' is Not A Dirty Word

Watching Lucy grow and explore every day for the past three months has been fun and frustrating.

She often reminds me of new painters as she picks up a new toy, a new fork or a new pair of shoes (and yes, she does love red ones.) She wants instant success. But sometimes, she takes her time.

When I gave her a small box of sand for the front porch, she checked out everything -- BEFORE she got down to business; BEFORE she tried to create a masterpiece. She touched, felt and tasted; poured, sprinkled and scrubbed. She explored the materials at hand. She played!

If I could just get new watercolor students to do the same. They would know how to handle the brushes, what papers to use for textured or smooth results, why colors glaze or granulate or cover and maybe even when to use a photo reference as only a beginning. But most don't want to explore. Lucy and I think they miss the fun part.

And, by the way, sometimes we add water. Well. Maybe play IS a dirty word.

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