Sketching with a Toddler

Over our thanksgiving break in Philadelphia I was fortunate to be able to spend some quality time with my adorable, nearly two year old niece.

As I was sketching one morning, those familiar chubby little fingers found their way around the lips of the dining room table, and that cheerful round little face peeked up over the side. She was just content to watch for a bit as I ground the pencils into the paper, following it up with a few washes of my watercolor brush. I finished up the sketch I was working on (and set it safely off to the side) and asked her if she wanted to draw with me.

sketching at the table

She drew two lines at first, one was a ‘mommy’ line and the other was a ‘daddy’ line. How cute, right? The start of a great figure artist! From there I showed her the magic of the watercolor brush on the pencil and she was off! Squiggles, washy patches, sweeping scrawls and dots patterned the paper, resulting in delighted squeals and clapping.

From both of us :)

sketching with a toddler
sketching with a toddler

Painting with my niece was a lovely reminder of how to approach the very practice of creating. Of course there are times when we create for a specific reason, or to solve a specific problem (We would have a hard time getting paid otherwise!) But it is also important to remember to create without reason but with wild abandon. To revel in the medium, to create marks simply for the love of making marks. To approach the practice with childlike joy, regardless of the outcome.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
- Pablo Picasso
Final toddler sketches

It will be a useful reminder as I go into this pre-Basel week with LOTS to do, orders to pack and events to attend. When I start to get stressed, I’ll remember the simple joy of drawing with a little happy person on my lap.

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving break! I’ll get an update on all the Basel happenings here posted shortly!

Much Love!