Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cool art

After a spectacularly mild summer, it's finally hot hot hot just as expected for August.  At 105 degrees and no ocean breeze, it's yucky.  Me no likey going outsidey in this heaty.

Today, I'm not into embracing the heat and going to a local fun water park (with all the other billions of people) or the ocean (long hot car ride with very boisterous children who desperately need to get back to school).  Everything takes effort, I'm feeling lazy, and my name recall memory is totally shot and functioning on a five minute delay.  Who's that on that new show The C Word, wait, wrong show, is it The Big C?  Yes! That's it.  And, the actress.  You know, the one in that wonderful movie with her screwed up brother played by that cute guy.  I love her.  She's one of my favorites.  Wait...ummmmm...

Five minutes later, while discussing with my husband how we need to get the house professionally bug sprayed because we keep finding eight inch long cockroaches having parties in our kitchen at night, I shout "Laura Linney!!!!!" and feel much much better.  Continuing on...

Our home has great air conditioning, a fully stocked fridge, a gazillion movies, Wii, a playroom loaded with stuff to do, and the internet.  Forget being social and adventurous and taking full advantage of the summertime outdoors during our dwindling few days of freedom before school starts - I'm simply not in the mood.  I am officially experiencing summer burnout.

So, after watching a movie, playing plenty of Wii, constructing a complicated marble run, playing with the very cool marble run, too much time on the internet, calling friends, cooking, snacking, cooking, snacking, building a Star Wars space flying thingy (give me five minutes, please), and a ten minute dance boogie, my daughter requests that we do an art project from her new art book
We settle on the section based on Kandinsky.  He painted and theorized with color and the abstract, with color often relating to feelings and music.  His famous painting of circles gives me that "I could paint that" feel, but it definitely grows on me once I realize how much thought and theory went into his work.

We fold the paper, then draw the circles with crayons, and paint over them with watercolors.  Here is mine which I name "Mellow Moments".
 Quinn names his "Grumpy Balls".
Talia picks "Rolling Changing Seasons" as her title:
What strikes me most is the serendipity of this particular artist and painting, and how it applies to our day.  His "Color Study of Squares" came out of his major fascination with color.  It obviously isn't about painting the perfect circles with the expected mix of perfect colors.  It is just about experimenting with art, pushing the status quo, seeing objects in a new way, and being original.  I always admire that. 

As we do the project, my kids struggle a bit with the folding and the circles and using color that they thought was one thing (red) but turned out to be another (pink).  They are so much like me in wanting to get things perfectly right the first time, or else!   But, in the end, they are smiling, talking with enthusiasm, and proud.  They learn that there are no "mistakes" in art, you make it your own, and sometimes it's just about the simple act of just doing art and expressing yourself.

So, even though I initially felt a twinge of regret that I didn't wear my supermom cape today by not taking my kids out for some fantastic summertime adventure like everyone else was probably doing (ha ha ha), I did just fine.  Like my kids getting frustrated with the circles and colors and perfectionism, I, too, need many more lessons in dealing with expectations, even though I've gotten much better in recent years.  Let go.  Express yourself.  Relax.  Have fun.  Relish the moment with joy. Maybe tomorrow we will be more adventurous.  Maybe not.  What's the weather going to be?  110?!  Uh, ummm, doing more art from Talia's art book in our air conditioned house sounds like a perfectly fine plan.  Me likey.

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