Hello my friends,
I just received an e-mail from someone who has read my blog for a while now and who feels that perhaps it would be helpful to share more of our messes and our flops — more of our real life problems — rather than always the projects that turn out great and the corners of the house that are clean. Perhaps you feel the same way? Here's her letter (she gave me permission to post it)…
You don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for about a year now. Almost every art project I do with my 5 year old daughter is inspired by it. In fact, it's inspired me to make art a part of our lives, which I'm not sure I would have otherwise. I'm not at all artistic and have no art background. Your blog has also inspired me to think in different ways about the purpose of children's art. Now, when my daughter talks about why she loves her mom, the first thing she says is usually, "She lets me do fun art." So first, I want to say thank you.
I also wanted to make a little comment about what I'd like to see more of, and I hope you will take it in the constructive spirit it's intended. Occasionally, I feel a bit discouraged by your blog, because it makes it appear that all your projects turn out perfectly, that your house is always perfect and that your art supplies are always in perfect order. In our house, my daughter rips through the art supplies like a tornado, and I just don't have the time and energy to reorganize them properly all the time. We have spilled paint, markers without caps, constantly lost scissors, etc. I am hoping to turn her current playroom into more of an art studio, with a better organizational system, but that's another project that I'm not sure when I'll find time for. Also, our art projects don't always go perfectly. Sometimes, my daughter really doesn't get into the process and creates something that's really not at all what I was hoping for. (I'm not saying I need it to look pretty, but it just doesn't reflect her getting engaged and interested in the project. Three cottonballs and a feather glued haphazardly to a piece of paper does not a masterpiece make.) Sometimes, techniques fail us. Sometimes, she becomes a total grump and has a tantrum over the project or demands that I do it for her.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, it would be a breath of fresh air to me if you would reveal some of the times when everything doesn't go as planned. It would give me more courage and inspiration to keep trying. Are all your millions of art supplies ever strewn in a horrible heap? Is the thought of cleaning up the mess after a project ever enough to make you want to lay on the floor and weep? Do you ever undertake a project and have it turn out to be a bust? Do you ever start out with a really cool idea and it just doesn't work?
Just something to think about.
Thanks so much for sharing your kids and your art with the world.