Today was art day with Kaeleigh. We were going to spray paint her Eiffel Tower wooden model, but the wind and weather wasn’t cooperating. We had to improvise. Today was paint whatever you want day. I painted a panda, which I will spare you the pics. Kaeleigh had been practicing drawing dragons and wanted to paint a dragon. Soon into the session, things went sour. I must say however, her background of bright red was smooth, even and the entire canvas was covered. If you have ever painted with kids, you know this is a big deal. It is hard to cover the white! Long story short, the dragon didn’t work out which gave Kaeleigh and I the opportunity to discuss failure. Failure is perfectly okay. Some of the best learning comes from failure. We learn through repetition, mistakes, practice practice practice. I had to use a Taylor Swift analogy but I hope the point got through. She vaguely knew who Michael Jordan was so it was just better to use an example of a person she actually knew about. Taylor Swift did not get to where she is by not practicing and not failing.
Kaeleigh wanted to throw her painting away. I told her that was fine…AFTER SHE FINISHED it. Poor kid. She was not happy with me. I told her she didn’t have to like it, but she had to finish it and wait a few days before making a decision to keep or toss out. That little girl, on the verge of tears kept on painting and by the time our session was over, Kaeleigh had completed a unicorn abstraction. That gave us another opportunity to learn. Kaeleigh now knows the difference between abstract and abstraction. I think this little unicorn is pretty darn cute and I was so proud of her for finishing.
I read this essay to Kaeleigh today: Advice for Kids Frustrated with their Art.