Paint Like a Child


“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Pablo Picasso

My focus for the month of November has been looking at the qualities of children’s art and in what areas I could benefit from approaching the canvas as a child would.  That means dropping ideas of perfectionism and just having fun with it.  When I manage to do that, there is a fun quality to the art that seems more expressive.  So I have been doing a lot of  studying the developmental stages of children’s art and fun experimenting with bringing those “techniques” into my adult art.  There has been a lot of finger painting which is soooo much fun and forces me to loosen up a bit!  My results will never be like Picasso’s, but hopefully bringing the child into the studio will help me become my best artistic self.

Family Tree

family tree

One of the commissioned pieces I painted this summer was this family tree.  This was done as an activity/ prize for a family reunion.  The initials of the parents of the family are on the tree trunk in the heart.  The family name is on the banner.  There are 10 branches on the tree for the ten children of the couple.  And the fallen leaves at the bottom are for family members who have passed away.


At the reunion, those attending would add their own thumbprint leaf onto the tree on the appropriate branches.  Then there was to be a drawing for the tree as a prize to be taken home.

family tree watermark

I think this was a brilliant idea, don’t you?  It was fun to be a part of such a well thought out piece.  I kind of wish I was part of their family!

What great ideas do you have from your own family gatherings?


Simple Mornings

Simple Mornings watermark

At a superficial glance, this piece is about that serene little bit of the day when I take my first sips of coffee or tea.  The happy little bird says all is right, and carries that message of “simplicity” which seems so elusive in my life.  As you look closer, the bird carries the words “happy rest” on its back along with a child….all again encouraging me to let the days concerns and worries to roll off of my back.

But also with my morning cup I do my planning for the day.  The phrase “in the square” (can you find it?) refers to the grids in my planner which quickly fill in with to do lists.  More words can be found on the cup… “making” which is the fun part of my job that makes my personal nemesis “detailed” bearable.  “Guide” reminds me that my planner to do is not my only guide, I have a capitol G greater Guide that everything else must yield to.  Which is also reflected in the words of the song.

Somehow, the postage stamp on the table is of the business sort, not one of the flowery fun stamps also available (albeit not by the roll) at the post office.  The inside of the business envelope right next to it seems to echo that message. But, that all seems balanced by the cheery oranges and yellows above… the energetic light of a new day giving us affection that we can in turn pass on to others.

All of this is what goes through my mind when I create a collage.  Each usually has some meanings hidden in it… though sometimes it happens quite accidentally and a little message ends up in there that I didn’t intend!

Hope you have a wonderfully happy, and simple, morning!

This piece is available in my etsy shop!