The So-Called Scribbles of A Child

November 14, 2018

It could be viewed that the art programs I teach are incredibly simple, and indeed their aim is simple, though not easy. They aim to preserve the scribbles of the young child, or more aptly the impulse that made the child scribble in such an instinctual, spontaneous, and free way, lacking either fear or ego. This impulse is part of what concerns educators who have dedicated their lives to the inner welfare of the child. It is part of the inner nature of the child, the drawing or painting an external representation and release of this.  


The artistry that accompanies this gestural drawing or early mark-making as it is also referred to, possesses a subtle sophistication with every sense being used, with relationships being established from the drawer to the receiver, and with other fellow drawers. And though the marks may at first seem directionless (and is this necessarily a negative trait?), they have such intention and significance for the child, something which seems reminiscent of what research has suggested human's earliest paintings were. Not the drawings of animals, but the symbols and mark-making that so greatly outnumber the bison, the lions, and other creatures, and that held such meaning for the artists who created they'd crawl on hands and feet, onto the belly of the cave, in darkness, to find a suitable surface and sanctuary. 


It could also be said that I provide two things in my art programs, the second nature, whether through the materials I provide, like charcoal, or through flowers, leaves, and twigs, broken and whole. Aside from their beauty, which I leave as is, they serve as a reminder that the nature out-there, exists within us, and is part of this impulse, the inner nature of the child that I talk about. It also exists within us adults, lying dormant for the most part, and just a little more difficult to wake up than within children. The patterns and movements that we see in nature, are a reflection of what lies within us all, but by the time we have reached adulthood, we have so forgotten this deep connection to our origin, that in the process, we have become spiritually bankrupt. 


I think when we see a young child's artwork, it reminds us adults of something that we have so lost, that we desperately turn away, either through total disregard or belittling it as a mere stepping stone to later "real" learning, so that we can keep from admitting to ourselves the loss that we deeply feel. 

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