Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Abhay, the artist?

Abhay has always loved drawing and coloring but off late I’ve noticed his interest wane a little. There was a time when he would spend an entire evening in the company of his color pencils. Now he seems to be satiated with drawing one picture or at the most two and he is done! Well, no harm in discovering that there are other interesting things to indulge in, but I certainly don’t want him to give up on the artist in him.  While children do tend to take up hobbies on their own, sustaining a long-term interest in the same may be a challenge, be it painting, music, dance, sports or stamp/ coin collection. I guess that’s where parents have a role to play, a delicate one at that as there is always a thin line between positive encouragement and pressure – something that I confess I also am guilty of ignoring… at times!

Anyway, I found a nice little book on encouraging kids to pursue their passion without breathing down their necks. “Paddington, the Artist” a part of the book series centered on a bear named Paddington illustrated by R.W.Alley. One Sunday Paddington is out for a walk with his friend Mr. Gruber, when they come across some paintings tied to the railings outside the park. Mr Gruber informs Paddington that it’s what is known as an Outdoor exhibition of paintings that are for sale. He points to a bright orange one titled “Sunset in Bombay” which makes Paddington glad that he doesn’t live under the scorching Bombay sun! Mr. Gruber then motions him towards an abstract painting of a “Storm at sea” that only makes Paddington sick and wish that he didn’t have such a heavy breakfast! Lastly, Mr. Gruber points to a picture of the artist himself, called a Self-Portrait.  Paddington then sets off home looking very thoughtful. When he gets home, Paddington collects all his paints and brushes from his room and goes to the garden. The next Sunday, he invites Gruber to his very own outdoor exhibition of paintings –“Sunset at Windsor” that is painted grey as it had taken Paddington such a long time to paint that it got dark before he could finish it and a self-portrait that looks nothing like him!  When Mr Gruber says that he looks better in real life, Paddington admits that he kept going upstairs to look at the mirror but had forgotten what he looked like by the time he got downstairs again! J Paddington then feels that painting isn’t as easy as it looks and he may just give up.  Mr Gruber however advises him against giving up after which he leaves Paddington to wait on his paintings hoping for someone to stop and buy one. But no one comes and Paddington falls asleep but when we wakes he finds all his paintings gone and an envelope with money. Overjoyed, he goes over to his family, Mr and Mrs Brown and when they see the handwriting they recognize it as Mr. Gruber’s but don’t say a word to Paddington!  Paddington meanwhile is encouraged to paint more and  even intends to paint a family portrait!  So as I learn to let go as a parent.....dont let go of the artist in you!:-)

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