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Portrait of a Nana (aka How to be an Artist)

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Oh precious children.  Yesterday I felt pretty crappy. I asked myself “What do you need?”  I needed a grandkids fix.

Courtney said she’d bring them over… She’ll do anything right now for me. And really? She’s pretty good that way at the best of times. But in amongst her final deadline of pulling together her magazine, in a week where her usual support systems with kids during this 14 hour/day work week are flailing (and others stepped in!), she brought Evalee and Lainey over.  Pretty thoughtful, me thinks.

I knew just the fact that Court and the girls were coming would energize me enough to be ‘okay’ while they visited. Oh, it’s true, I did debate that with myself, but the option to visit won.

And oh, the visit was delightful… look what evolved! Drawings! Including a portrait of me by Evalee! Amazing in its finished product, but also so amazing watching the process!



But first, photos of the little ones in the studio.. drawing and visiting.

Look at Lainey.. so involved in her drawing, a drawing now brightening my fridge and my day.







And she’s also so talented at ‘posing’ for photos..
just like her big sister.







I  asked  Evalee if she’d like to draw a portrait of me.  She pondered that as I pondered that drawing portraits is one of the techniques many artists are most afraid of.

I said, “You know, doing portraits can be tricky, but it’s a great thing to try out and it can be fun.”

I didn’t need to say that. I wasn’t finished before I realized her “pondering’ was really her observing me  as she made the plan. Pencil to paper, she began…

 A circle for the face. Eyes.. with eyeballs!  A smile added.

And then, Courtney and I couldn’t quit smiling as we watched her figure out how my arms were being held.  I was posing one hand resting against the side of my face.  She drew that hand.. and it’s curious where it came from and went, since her arms begin at the side of the head!   She placed the other arm.

Then, as an observant artist does, she got off the chair, and glanced under the table to see how my legs and feet were sitting.. and sure enough, she drew them cross-legged, just as they were.

Observing me, pencil tapping her chin, she then announced, “teeth!” and added those.  “Oh.. your hat”… and on went my little cap.   And finally, ears.  (Because my ears definately show up these days). “Oh they’re a little funny,”  she said with a smile as she drew them.  But unlike the adult artist, ” a little funny” was perfect. I thought she was finished, and I had phone call…and  I came back to see she had also included the telephone!

I couldn’t help but notice how much:

1. Evalee got right into the zone with the process.

2. how she felt parts of the drawing were quite accurate and she liked that.

3. how she felt parts of the drawing weren’t quite accurate and she liked that, too.

4. How it simply was not a big deal to draw a portrait of her Nana.

  • No second guessing the choice.
  • No fear.
  • No words playing in her head that she ‘can’t’, she’s ‘not good enough’, or that she really ought to ‘clean the house first’ or she should do something ‘more productive, or that makes money, or is an otherwise good use of time.’
  • No hidden limiting beliefs she’s acquired as the result of what others have said about what an artist is, or isn’t.
  • No words of one (or more) person who’s opinion she respects who has subtly suggested she steer away from her creativity, or out and out said she doesn’t have what it takes. (Ringing bells? Teachers of the past? Loving relatives?)
  • Nothing that has her misinterpreting even supportive comments because she’s become far too sensitive as a creative being.

Oh, how I wish for all of us that we could create like Evalee.  And even more, I wish for the ways to support her and all children to be their natural and amazing creative selves without developing the blocks and barriers that so often lead to children not believing they are creative beings, inspired thinkers, and intuitive wonders.

And on that note, I’m going to share this now. Because, in truth, it has led to a most exciting adventure in writing about how we really can support the children.  It’s turning into a workbook!  No, it’s turning into a novel….   Soooooooooo delighted where this is going. More soon!

Playing in Fall Leaves

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The Willow Tree has dropped all of it’s leaves  and the yard is full of these brown and yellow treasures.  (the brown does not refer to the poo post, by the way)    Today Evalee and I played outside in the leaves.  We’d throw them up in the air and watch them fall. She would run through the bare branches of the Willow Tree, testing out this whole new environment that used to be green and full of ‘hidden rooms’ created by the draping branches.  Each time I’d throw a handful of leaves, Evalee laughs in delight.  Lately when she is anticipating something fun, she smiles her brilliant smile, and clasps her hands in fists and shakes them.  (Oh, I did not explain that well at all.)

People, I don’t know what to say but ‘get a grandchild, have a baby, spend time with a friend’s little one, or a niece or nephew” *  Then play with them.  Watch their awe and wonder as they discover new and delightful things that we sometimes take for granted.  Or do things with them that we forget to do most the time.. like throwing fall leaves up into the air and laughing as they float back down.  (They smell so lovely, too.)

It’s that little smile,  that pure joy in the moment that I am so in awe of.  and can learn from.  Thanks Evalee for being such a brilliant mentor.. you do know how to live the moments grandly!

*that’s not ‘coach’ talking, that’s Nana Grama.  The Coach in me would never advise you to have a child, or to have anything.. Coach would be asking the questions to help you make your choices.)

The Motherhood of the Travelling Wedding Dress

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Yes, that is what it has become…. I’m excited about this. Even if I am writing right now to avoid finishing trying to fit everything into that backpack, which has gotten very heavy! I suspect I should have been working out more. I suspect that Victor will understand how much I’m visualizing that ‘getting in shape’ tonight!

So, I get to take the wedding dress and as it turns out the grooms suit on an adventure. I can’t say a lot about this plan because it’s a secret til the wedding, but I will note.. the magic began today, here in Kamloops.

And the whole research thing??? Yup, well, I was inspired to call a very wise friend.. versed in all ancient history, mythology, and more.. both the traditional and untraditional versions. As the conversation evolved, we realized Wayne and I could stay connected through this trip… he has agreed to be my resource/research assistant/ intuitive idea sharer as I am on my journey. This is another long story.. and I do have to pack… but isn’t it absolutely incredible how the most amazing resources can fall into place. I hope I get to write while away.. this is fun… (I do have a journal!!) and now, off I go. To Pack, To maybe sleep tonight, and to Turkey and Greece!

And one more thing to mention… Oh MY GOM, am I ever going to miss the wee Evalee! It’ll only be two weeks til I see her. Her parents suggested that I take her with me now. (hmm.. it’s the lack of sleep, I think) But we didn’t really plan ahead enough to do that. Although it’s starting to seem that it might be easier to ‘pack’ a baby and all of her ‘things’ than to pack what I’m doing right now.

This is entirely untrue. I know. Which is why I am taking the dress, etc.. cuz they have a booster seat, child tent, child back pack, etc, etc, etc……. They will be lucky to fit any clothes at all for themselves. Oh well.. they’re newlyweds.. they don’t need clothes. Oh I cannot believe I wrote that. ha ha! I’m getting delirious.

ah, I will miss her and her mommy and daddy. 14 sleeps and we’ll get to play together. 2 sleeps and I’ll get to see Megan!!!!

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