School is back in session these days, but Maddie isn't going yet. Despite the fact that nearly every one of her friends is headed to preschool, we decided to wait one more year to send her. Instead, we'll keep on going to playgroup, gymnastics, the zoo, the library, for walks, and our new activity: Art Friday. My friend Melissa's daughters aren't going to preschool this year either, and so we decided to invent Art Friday. On the second and fourth Friday of the month, we're planning little art activities for the three girls to do together. Today was the inaugural day for our new event.
We hosted Art Friday today. The girls learned how to mix paint to make pink and purple and all-color-brown, and went to town painting coat hooks to hang up by our respective garage doors. We took their pictures and printed them out to stick to their coat hooks, lest anyone might be confused as to whose coat hook is whose. They are all at the age (almost 3 1/2—almost 4 1/2) where they have an artistic vision. They were all very proud of their work—you could see it in their eyes as they held up their finished masterpieces for inspection. (Matt got to "see" them too, as well as you can see anything when you've just returned from having your eyes dilated at your Lasik eye surgery consultation. But that's a story for another day).
Art is so important to me. I can tell you each and every art teacher I ever had, including the jerk one I had for senior studio in high school who successfully damaged my love of making art for far too long. I've never been particularly good at painting or drawing, exactly, but that has never been what art is about for me. It's more of the process of making something out of nothing, or making something from something else. Of telling a story with pictures and pretty paper. Of having something to stand back and look at and say "hey, I did that!" I think a sense of ownership is instilled in children who get to do art; they have the power to create something by themselves, even when the rest of their world is mostly created for them. It doesn't matter what the final project looks like, really, because it's the process that matters most. And so we plan to continue Art Fridays (interspersed with Art Regular Days). Someday Maddie will be able to look back at these quirky little projects and feel a sense of contentment that she always had, and has, the power to create if she so chooses.