Have the tools available. This is what my wife and I keep trying to do with Toddler Harbat. If she has an interest in cooking, she’s got her kitchen and ours. If she wants to make music, we have instruments around. And if it’s drawing, we’ve got paper and markers out the wazoo. Here she is working on her newest piece. I don’t know if it has an official name, but I like to call it “Somber Faces #1-5”.
Note the asymmetry in the face, or is it just a trick of perspective? The eyes are empty, letting us imagine the emotion, the thought process behind the piece. The mouth isn’t drawn into a overworked rictus of a smile so often seen in pedestrian children’s art. No, these are more thoughtful. In fact I’d say they have saudade, a Portuguese word that isn’t translatable but can be described as bittersweet longing, a mixture of sadness and joy. These faces speak legions about the complexity of TH’s brain, her hand/eye coordination at battle with left-brain intent. Maybe one day she’ll be able to draw Disney-esque Rapunzel figures with those huge watery anime eyes. But I think I’ll still prefer these faces, inquisitive and melancholy.