Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lines of Laughter, Lines of Communication

Amazing what we can do when we don't think we can do it and have no idea how to do it. I know, a bit confusing. I began teaching my granddaughters to paint and draw. Now I don't have any such training and have no idea how to create final masterpieces let alone stick pictures yet this did not hold me back from trying.

Yesterday my granddaughters wanted to spend time at Commonwealth Park drawing wild life. I had gone to the Dollar Store and purchased bags for each girl for their pencils and pads. My philosophy is that if you are going to be an artist, you might as well look like one then possibly some artistic ability will surface. So far this theory is working well. So, with equipment in hand, we head off to the lake.

We sat on a bench in the sun looking over the water. First order of business was snack eating and debating our artistic focus. Evidently attuned to the sound of food containers being opened, the ducks began to swim in our direction. The girls were in awe of the lovely pattern created across the water as the ducks, seemingly swimming in formation, headed our way. The web-footed visitors surrounded us waiting for their snack. We knew that it was posted that we not feed them, so dejected beaks migrated to the grass behind us except for two lone ducks

We each began drawing the drake. I was reverting to the oval process creating a chain of odd shapes for my basic duck pattern. The girls went directly to the subject. We sat quietly drawing, sharing the eraser and commenting on nature, unruly people and how much more time we had to be together with pencils in hand.

Soon we were laughing at our efforts. Sydney's duck no matter how many times she tried always looked like a flamingo. Gabby giggled and drew comical looking ducks with bowed legs and boots. I had a decent looking duck with feet turning backwards and swollen ankles. There were no mistakes. I showed the girls what fun it is to draw in abstract. The first duck looked like a cartoon character the kids had seen on TV. More laughing. More freedom to express.

We ended our time at the lake when a man much resembling Santa Claus stopped at our bench. "A heron is standing by the bridge if you would like to see it." Immediately, gear was stowed, and we were off. The huge, grey heron stood stately on one leg across the lake. Santa stood next to us.

Our conversation turned from ducks to Santa. We were glad that maybe he was watching the people at the lake to see who was naughty and who was nice.

We started off to sketch. We ended up with learning a bit more about each other by listening to one another, supporting one another's efforts and by experiencing new awareness. Wow. Sounds like a pretty good recipe for peace.

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