In some way, humans just want to document their experiences in life, and one of the most powerful and creative ways to do that is through art. Although we cannot all be a Caravaggio or a Michelangelo, we are all artists! I have yet to meet a toddler or preschooler who will not take colored pencils or paint and just have at it with anything… paper, boxes, used envelopes, floors, my arm, their hands, windows and walls. It’s an instinct much greater than they themselves, and it’s a glorious thing to observe.
Unfortunately, many children are diverted from that instinct because of an adult who presumes to instruct them on their art, an adult who criticizes form and composition, an adult who destroys art done “incorrectly” or an adult who tells them which colors to use. Thankfully, the best artists are often stubborn and they allow their instincts to prevail. Thank you, Monet, for being one such artist and filling our world with your colors, your flowers, your skies and your magnificent impression of it all.
Yesterday, my four-year-old student was thrilled to receive a beautiful Easter egg coloring page, and she whipped out her colored pencils faster than ice melts in Texas in August. The outlines were really thick she noticed, so she said that she could definitely be able to stay in the lines (although that was not my request). A few moments after she had begun, she called me telling me that she needed to change her page. When I asked her why, she proceeded to explain to me that she wanted to color the flower’s leaf green, but that she had colored one of the flower’s petals green, and that her teacher at school told her that flowers can’t be colored green.
Oh, splendid Singapore! Thanks to one of my two visits to Singapore, I was able to show my student a green flower… and a black flower! Astonished by the photos, she just continued coloring proudly, looking as if she had made the biggest discovery of the century. So, color away, sweet student of mine, and make this world brighter, better and definitely full of green flowers everywhere!