Sunday, September 14, 2008

Very Sketchy

It might be an uphill battle, but I'd always hoped that we might instill in our kids a desire to be not simply passive consumers of childish diversions, but producers as well. I'm half convinced that children come wired for creativity already, and only succumb to mindless viewings of Disney, Barbie, and Pokemon with the tacit permission of their parents. Parenting is time-consuming and difficult, and passive consumption is a tempting choice when you're looking for the path of least resistance. Thank heaven for Sunday, when church and quiet time push our children onto the road less traveled out of sheer boredom.

Lucy drew the [above] picture of Curio a few weeks back--K. and I were surprised to find that she was finally drawing representational art that we could recognize. A week or so later she drew Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and the French Peas:
Derivative work, but still pretty good, right? My personal favorite is on the bottom row, third from the left.

A couple Sundays back I amused myself with this cartoon:
Drawing anthropomorphic balloons was something of an artistic breakthrough for me. By limiting my range to circles and lines, I too could be a famous cartoonist!(And in all seriousness, do yourself a favor and never watch Killer Klowns From Outer Space. When it comes to mental images, I find some truth in the saying that you forget the things you want to remember and remember the things you want to forget.)

Ian has been re-reading the first Harry Potter and today penned a comic about Harry's lesser-known relation, Jack. [click to enlarge]Characters named "Jack" turn up in a lot of Ian's stories. I guess we all have our favorite fictional names. When I taught high school grammar, "Leroy Brown" became the subject of many model sentences.

Sage liked my balloon cartoon and came up with her own.It always interests me to see how well we reveal our true natures in the things we create. Please note that Sage's cartoon has many pictures of dogs, friends, and smiles, and draw your own conclusions.

It's funny how often creativity springs from limitations. The poet Richard Wilbur wrote very structured poems in a time when free verse had become the norm, but explained that "the Genie gets his power from being trapped in the bottle." When you have absolute freedom, filling a blank piece of paper can be very daunting, but impose a few arbitrary limitations and suddenly your mental energies have a channel through which to flow. Maybe that's why I'm having so much fun with my balloon people, and why it's becoming easier to sketch an autobiographical cartoon than it is to actually write in my journal.