Pumpkin with butterflies by Martina’s daughter (2 1/2 years old)
Martina, from Vienna, wrote me a kind email. Attached I found a lovely drawing by her young daughter of a pumpkin with butterflies. Martina had seen my pumpkin drawing and noticed how her daughter’s drawing and mine resembled each other.
I enjoyed so much studying the drawing of Martina’s daughter. Our drawings look identical; the only difference is technique that comes with exercise and age.
Picasso ones said that it took him 40 years to draw like a child again. By showing the drawing of Martina’s daughter and my drawing, we are able to see Picasso’s remarkable observation in action.
Have a look at the young girl’s drawing: you see a pumpkin with yellow butterflies and the red with a red zig-zag line pushing the pumpkin somewhat to the back, and by doing that creating perspective. I have no idea if the red or yellow lines are the butterflies. The pumpkin clearly is surrounded by objects that have hold the attention of the 2 1/2 years old long enough to take the effort to put them on paper.
Toddler drawings are often mysterious. It is like they are an unknown language. If you ask a child what all the lines and dots are, you get a surprised remark; ‘A dinosaur!’ or ‘A house!’ sounding like it is internally followed by …can’t you see that? Why asking what is so obvious? Ah, well adults are a different breed. If you ask it again a few years later, by now the 4 or 5 years old child still remembers in detail what all lines and dots represent. Then, suddenly when the drawing surfaces again a few years later, the maker rolls his or her eyes and says it is a childish drawing.
It would be interesting to study what is actually happening. Is it that the child has outgrown lines and dots? Or is it that a child sees the world differently? Or has the child fallen out of its magical child world in which all is alive, enchanting and that therefore a single line can represent a crocodile or a dot a teapot? I wish I had shamanistic skills to enter the world of a child again. (With that I would shorten Picasso’s 40 years).
Young children aren’t ambitious to create beauty. They don’t go hunting for beautiful flowers either. Neither are they enchanted by awesome landscapes. Could it be that their world is loaded with beauty due to their enchanted and uncorrupted perception? That we, as we grown ups, gradually fall out of paradise and fail to see beauty in ordinary things, and therefore we need to travel miles for lovely views, or visit museums for beauty? Are you one of those adults spending, consciously or subconsciously, much time of your life trying to recapture that sense of beauty?
I like to thank Martina’s wonderful daughter. Her drawing made me smile for a long time.
Well done, sweetie girl.