A couple weeks ago I came across this quote that came to life today as I watched my son painting on his easel. "Your children are not a masterpiece that you create. They are their own masterpiece creating themselves, and you have been given the privilege of watching them be the artist."J Warren Welch
What has been a typical simple set up of painting on an easel, evolved into so many layers of creativity that was all self directed by himself and I had the honor of watching it all unfold before my eyes. All I provided was the easel, tempera paint, butcher paper, paint brushes, and classical music. He began his process by freely painting, mixing colors, creating different strokes, using two-four brushes at a time, and as always finger painting that turns into full body painting.
Just when I thought he was done, he returned to the easel 10 minutes later dragging his Lily and River Little Surf Balance Board unprompted by me and began to paint while balancing on his board. In that moment I was in true awe of how creative he was to make his own decision and bring this new element to his process. At the same time I said to myself why haven't I ever thought of that?!
This is when that quote came full circle and I was reminded by my son of the privilege we have as parents and educators to see the evolution of a child fostering their own curiosity, making choices independently, and having the confidence and independence to become their own masterpieces.
While process art such as this experience not only supports their intrinsic form of creativity and validates their ideas and work, what happened today reminded me that this isn't just about art it is about the whole child. From all developmental aspects of a child when we let children learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, create so freely they feel empowered, we have truly honored that "they are their own masterpiece creating themselves."