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Art Through The Eyes Of A Child

This weekend was a Pop-Up Art Show at The Blue House Too Gallery in Allen, Tx, and I was one of the artists that exhibited. The gallery is located in a lifestyle center with retail, dining and assorted arts so it draws a big family crowd. Our opening night was a Friday so we got a mix of families and couples in the gallery, and to my amazement, both groups were truly interested in the art. Not only the artists participating in the Pop-Up Show but there is a fantastic one-woman-show at the gallery so massive amounts of color and design throughout the gallery.

I'm used to engaging with the adults and we discuss everything from my art, to the arts in general and I just love the interaction. I'm not one to be drawn to children but for some reason, this show was different. When I observed a child coming towards my booth, I watched what they were looking at, how they were analyzing the colors and designs of my paintings. They were very quiet but it was obvious they were totally immersed in the art so I broke out of my mold and walked from behind the table to the front. I squatted down a bit to get on their level and started asking questions about the art and the answers I got simply blew me away.

These kids were averaging in age between 5 and 8 and were answering my questions in adult level detail, actually far better in my opinion. They don't have filters so just say what they feel and it was so refreshing to have them remind me of why I paint. Yup - a group of children!

Some of my questions were, Do you like art? What do you like about it? Do you like to paint or draw? What are your favorite things to paint or draw? You seem to like this painting, what is it you like about it?

As you can see, they were fairly uncomplicated questions but the answers I received in return were at times, quite complicated. They were well thought out, well delivered and frankly blew the pants off the answers I received from the adults. Like I said before, they have no filters so they can say what they actually feel without fear.

I think my favorite was an answer to the question, What do you like about art? The reply was ...because you can make it anything you want and no matter what you do, it isn't wrong. From a 6 year old!

It takes a lifetime for an adult artist to come to that conclusion and that's IF they ever do. Since childhood it's drilled in our little brains there there is a right and there is a wrong but not much in life can be ok no matter what. I have a firm philosophy that there are no 'rules' when creating and while I am formally trained in art, I have tossed out all of those rules because frankly, they just don't matter. Paint from the heart and from the soul, just like a child. Pretend there is nobody looking over your shoulder to criticize or critique you, just play and have fun doing it.....paint like a child.

The Pop-Up Art Show is over but I took away many bits of wisdom from the tiny souls I met, and I thank each of them for giving me such a gift. What I hope I gave them in return was encouragement to follow their passions no matter rules.

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