Monday, September 21, 2015

Getting Back to the Artist at Heart

Low rider dash!
I've written about artist's dates before. This past weekend, I decided it was time for another one with the kiddo in tow. We went to the Albuquerque Art Museum, toting a sketch pad, pencils, and crayons. I let my 5 year old son lead the way to the exhibits he wanted to go through, with the following instructions: (1) don't touch anything!, and (2) if you see something you like, you can draw it in your sketch pad.

Math art
We started in the New Mexico Artists' Exhibit. The pieces are changed out from time to time, but there are some enduring ones, such as this rendering of a low rider's dash and steering wheel. I love the colors and the textures. It's one of my favorite pieces in the ongoing exhibit.

As we were walking through, my son said, "I want to find some math art." We ended up looking at some abstract art, and he found a piece that spoke to him. He promptly sat down and started drawing while muttering things like, "And another circle here, and a tree there." I sat and studied the piece below with all the sharp angles. I love the angles and the way the artist depicted the hanging sheets. I also thought, "Yep, sometimes I feel like I'm about to get run over by a bull."

My favorite piece from the day
De-luxe ENT machine, or torture device?
He copied a couple of paintings, then we headed to an exhibit of old stuff, like counting machines, a hundred year old typewriter, a hundred year old desk phone, and a cozy little De-Luxe Ear, Nose, and Throat machine used in a doctor's office. You wouldn't mind your doctor coming at you with those implements, would you? There was also an old perm machine from the 1920's. What the picture doesn't show

you is the mask hanging above it with empty circles for eyes and an empty circle for a mouth, as if the person is screaming forever. Because there's nothing like the idea of eternal pain to draw people in for a permanent.

We ended up sitting by a sculpture I thought of as Raging Angry Dying Buffalo while my son drew an original sketch inspired by his tour through the museum. I kept waiting for the Raging Angry Dying Buffalo to come to life and trample us all to death as its entrails streamed behind it.
"No, honey, this won't fry your hair at all."

One of the coolest takeaways of the whole day was when my son sat down to do this last sketch and said, "Looking at the sculptures helps me come up with something to draw." And that right there sums up the whole idea of the artist's date. Young kids are all artists at heart. They don't second guess themselves. The brain weasels haven't started nibbling at their thoughts yet. Sometimes it's hard as an adult or older child to get back into that headspace where you draw/write/dance/act as you want without any concern, but it's the best headspace to be in while creating something.
Raging, dying buffalo says get back to your art!

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