|"Ella Throws it Down" 32 x 24, acrylic|
"Every child is an artist. The problem is
how to remain an artist once we grow up."
There's nothing so refreshing as inviting a child into my studio to play. Before long I remember what it is to be fearless, curious, and completely involved in art making.
And so it was when almost seven year old Ella came to play. She picked up art materials and experimented with vigor and abandon. My role as guide was hardly needed as she drew, painted, and created some wonderful and very personal expressions of art.
For some of our splashy fun with acrylic, I had her wear an apron to protect her clothes. Ella wasn't thrilled, but she complied. As soon as she was done with the acrylic work, she asked if she could take off the apron. Of course. I was intrigued to see her not only take off the apron, but throw it down. That gesture was priceless.
After she and her mommy left, I picked up my sketchbook (you thought I was going to say that I picked up the apron, right? Hah!) and quickly sketched some little thumbnail ideas of Ella in the studio, including her throwing down the apron. This painting came from some of those sketches.
As I worked on this painting, I thought about times in my life when I put on some covering of protection. I accept that I needed it for a time, but when I am released from that need, do I take it off? I might ignore the constraints, the itchy neck, the binding strings, and adapt myself to the discomfort of it. Over time, layer upon layer build up to create an entire shell of protection and my voice becomes muffled under the burden of it all.
I think I will take a lesson from Ella. When protection is no longer needed, I'll take it off and THROW IT DOWN!
This painting, and many others that relate in some way to aprons, will be in my solo show "Apron Stirrings" and I hope you will come to see it!
Artist reception: Friday, April 4, 2014
2025 SE Jefferson
Milwaukie, OR 97222