It's like watching myself in 1980....

It's the school holidays and I spent my first day alone with my 5 year old niece, who is really into art, and who, it seems looks up to her artist aunty Becky. So what better thing to do than to take her to spend the day at my art studio?

My neice in the zone...

She had a wonderful time - using clay, and for the first time, charcoal and pastels. It was great to just watch her create - she just drew and the work flowed out of her. She clearly just loved putting colours and shapes on paper. 

I'm guessing this is much what I was like back when I was her age and used to sit for hours on end drawing, most often watched over by my godfather and babysitter uncle Brian, who indulged me with art materials and attention.

Interestingly, I saw the seeds of self deprecation, which I'm hoping she doesn't take too seriously - I was doodling alongside her, and when she saw my drawings, she was comparing herself to me - and of course as a 5 year old, coming up short (in her opinion)... It's sad that this starts so young: artists constantly have to unlearn and deprogramme these kinds of feelings from their psyches if they are to make art unencumbered, and few really manage it well.

I encouraged her to use my drawing (below) as inspiration for her next piece, then I in turn used that as inspiration for my following piece. It was a lovely way to see how ideas can evolve and she produced a beautiful abstract pastel drawing.

 My first charcoal doodle

My first charcoal doodle

She took the circular motif as a basis for her pastel drawing, and chose a beautiful variety of pastels to create her abstract piece.

 My niece's beautiful abstract

My niece's beautiful abstract

 My drawing based on a combination of my previous work and my niece's... 

My drawing based on a combination of my previous work and my niece's... 

It was an exciting way to create new work playfully. I loved the fact that she could have drawn all day, she was so absorbed in what she was doing. What is it about making art that can do that to us? There's such peace in us when we are fully engaged in making art - that's why I continue to do it - it feels so 'right' and I love the satisfaction of having created something at the end of it.

Here (below) is a final photo of her and her finished pieces in the hallway at the studios where she left them 'for everyone to see'.