I was taken by surprise when my brother B showed up for Ms. Thang's birthday with an art easel. She was tickled to death and gave him a big hug and a thanks. So later I asked him what possessed him to buy her such a gift. And he shrugged and told me when we were camping he asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she told him an easel. My kids have an ask/receive relationship with most of our siblings so long as it's not too unreasonable, and even then sometimes too. Of course the next day she set it up and used some old crummy crayola paints and did a picture.
The next weekend, she asked if we could go shopping. She had quite a bit of birthday cash and wanted to spend it. So I asked her what she wanted, and she said art supplies and clothes. She actually ended up with art supplies and roller blades but that's a whole 'nother post for another day.
We went to Micheal's and walked up and down the art aisles. I explained to her the different kinds of paint and we talked about different things you can use to create art, and she decided on watercolors. Good choice I thought to myself. She got herself a watercolor pad, a set of brushes, a set of paints and a set of watercolor pencils. We talked about how the more money you pay for art supplies the better the quality is and I showed her my favorite brands. I also explained to her that it was a good choice for her to go with the less expensive brands because she could try out more, and then she's not plunking down a lot of money for something she doesn't enjoy. Life lessons at Micheal's.
That evening she was more interested in her roller blades than anything else. But the next afternoon when she got home, she set up her easel. We talked about how you use watercolor pencils, and I explained to her how to use the paints, and then I walked out of the room. I know myself and I didn't want to "teach" her how to use her paints. I wanted to see what she could come up with on her own. The flowers were her first "work of art." I love it. I didn't tell her that she spelled beauty wrong (although she did ask the next day and I told her then), or that watercolors are usually more a wash of color. I told her it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and I stand by that.
This afternoon I am going to paint with her. I will show her some watercolor techniques, give her some pointers and share my love of art with her. But mostly I will let her do her own thing while I do mine. And someday I will be able to look back and say, "I knew her when..."
*ya'll.. I am beta-testing the Googleized blogger.. and my spell check finally works! look out!!*