Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pencil-packin' girl

Even before Astrid turned three, she was using drawing tools to help her work out her feelings and let us know what was on her mind. This past spring, though, when she was earnestly practicing her reading skills, she pretty much stopped drawing and painting. It was a strange time for us, because we just didn't have as many clues about what she was thinking. She is a very articulate kid, but is sometimes indirect in her communications about the things that matter the most to her. (Diplomatic, ain't I?)

Now that her reading is coming along more quickly, Astrid has started drawing and painting again. She has spent at least a few minutes every day this summer (or at least it seems that way) sketching what she sees and thinks about: anatomically detailed animals in motion, incongruous scenes she pictures in her mind (like me with a big beard....), Pokemon creatures she has invented. She has also been hungrily studying the work of other artists in some art history textbooks I brought home from work. Over the past couple of weeks, she has produced her own painted version of Hokusai's "Great Wave" woodcut, as well as some intriguing interpretations of portraits. I like the angle of her Frida Kahlo portrait; the way she shows a heartily-built Kahlo looking slightly to the side makes me think of Botero. (Her drawings look a bit faint on the computer screen--sorry.)

Astrid had seen the Mona Lisa before, but she didn't show interest in doing a version until I mentioned that many people call this painting "La Gioconda," or "The Laughing Woman." Then Astrid got a smile on her own face and worked furiously for two minutes (before running off to watch Arthur on PBS with her brother). We're all happy that she's drawing again.

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