Here it is. Yesterday I went to a showing of children’s paintings. A group of neighborhood children have been meeting in the studio of Beth Matthews, a painter, who lives around the corner from me. I know most of the children (and their parents and dogs) from walking Lila up the road so it was a thoroughly exciting afternoon.
The paintings were, to say the least, inspiring. Beautiful, spontaneous, free, expressive. Several people asked me if I thought children were born with a natural talent that just gets lost with the self-consciousness of the aging process. Sadly, yes. But then the challenge is to go back to that free mind. In many ways.
Sometimes I’m actually jealous of my students. Adult students. They do some amazing paintings. They are so free, experimental, open, unprejudiced. Qualities of aspiration. After so many years of making art, I know what I need to achieve in a painting but, fortunately, I don’t know exactly how to get it every time. So it is still an exploration process. My students don’t know as firmly as I do what they want but they do seem to achieve it. They can paint themselves into a corner and find a way out. That’s inspiring.