Last week we did a picture study from The Art Book for Children, we looked at Women, Bird by Moonlight by Joan Miro. I really love this book as it has suggestions for questions to ask, helping the child to see more in the painting than might be appreciated at first glance. I enjoy encouraging Huwyl to look more deeply into the world around him, to look beyond what is obvious and to encourage him to trust his own feelings and interpretations.
One of the suggestions in the book was to draw a picture with your eyes closed to mirror the surreal world created by Miro, so today we gave it a try. I’m finding that if I work alongside Huwyl it encourages him to be more fully immersed in the experience, so today we got out the paints and we both drew with our eyes closed.
We started with pencil (to mimic the lines in Miro’s picture) and drew the outlines with our eyes closed. I went for a bird on a branch and Huwyl, much more imaginatively, drew a tree person surrounded by a forest. Once the outlines were done we filled them in with our paints. When we work on this kind of project I notice little changes in Huwyl, his ability to focus for a little longer, his depth of concentration, his delicacy of approach. These changes are almost imperceptible day to day but sometimes I’m able to stand back and see how they add up, how my little guy is growing.
While Huwyl and I were experimenting with Surrealist art techniques Neirin was doing a little experimentation of his own.
Each boy exploring what they are capable of, testing what they can do with colour and brush, interpreting the world in their own way. This kind of experience is sort of a metaphor for our homeschooling experience. It creates a lot of mess, is often more difficult than I think it is going to be but the results are always more than worth it. And always a surprise.