Friday, May 26, 2006

Who decides beautiful?

Emma drew a picture of the party we're going to have for Daddy, and wrote a story about it:


Then she asked me, "Who decides what's beautiful?"

Um, how do I answer that? We talked for a while about how everyone has to decide for themselves what is beautiful to them. And we looked through her art binder and she asked me if all her pictures were beautiful. And I answered "no".

Yeah, I'm a horrible mother. But we kept flipping through the pages and I stopped on all the ones that were just scribbles. I asked her if she thought they were beautiful. After a while, she really started studying them and deciding for herself if they were beautiful. She would talk about the colors and how she liked them, but how she liked the pictures of people, and flowers, and houses, and animals more.

So what's more important, creating for the sake of beauty, or just creating for the sake of creation? Emma and I decided that sometimes it's fun just to scribble with pretty colors because she enjoys doing it, even if the results aren't beautiful. And I told her that I thought she was beautiful anytime she uses her imagination and is enjoying what she's doing. And I'll keep anything she scribbles!

7 comments:

Bethy said...

What a great conversation to have. And I've said a version of the same to my son. Like me, he's a bit of a perfectionist and gets upset when it doesn't look like he wants. So, my question to him - did you have fun doing it? If so, then just do. It's about enjoyment.

I really enjoyed reading your post. It perfectly articulated how I feel about the process and the end result.

loonyhiker said...

This was so neat! As a teacher, I really like to see parents encouraging critical thinking. I don't think our kids are taught that enough. I'm always telling my students that it is okay to have an opinion but you need to be able to explain why you feel that way.

glynis said...

I love it! What a wonderful post--and you are definitely NOT a bad mom! Am I a bad mom because I DON'T save everything that the kids scribble?? *LOL*

heather said...

Great pics, I love seeing kids early writing - beautiful!! You've reminded me of the plastic crate under my bed full of my kids art and how many more I threw away... The scribbly ones I've kept only a few examples of, only because they show a particular stage. Abstract art is hard for me to "get" but maybe it is more a process focussed art rather than a product focus...? hmmm your post has really got me thinking about this again! It's great you are having conversations about art with your daughter, I think you've got another artist in the making there..!

Suza said...

Thats great....when i remember, what my parents or grandma told me, when i started to paint or anything like that.....

ArtcMom said...

Awsome, awsome post!!!!!What an important conversation to have! You handled it beautifully!!!NOw I HAVE to go post some of dd's work!

Tink said...

It is wonderful that you and Emma can sit and talk, even at her young tender age.