Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kid Art

One of the things on my post-prez, mental to-do list: sort through kid art. We have a ton of it underfoot, as both of our kids are visually creative. (Hmmmm, wonder where they got THAT?) My ten year-old future engineer is as likely to draw maps or schematics as he is to actually create something just for the sake of creating (a trait that I appreciate, being a reader and writer of non-fiction who doesn't always see the point of "made-up" stuff). One of my favorites from among his earliest works - a map of his baby pool, shown from above, with a diagram of where his friends would sit in said pool during a planned summer playdate. (Apparently, they were to be assigned a fixed location and then be expected to stay there.)

When he does draw "just to draw," he still retains some sense of purpose. A recent piece, displayed in a place of honor in our home (AKA, the refrigerator door), is a study in perspective, depicting a desert highway. Another favorite - created when he was seven or so - was his attempt to emulate Georgia O'Keeffe:

My current favorite, though, was created when Connor was in third grade and represented his entry into a district-wide art competition titled, "Imagine a World Without Violence":

Here is how he described his composition to me: "It's your basic mixed-use real estate project. There are condos, and a mall, and a luxury hotel, and a parking garage, and a Compass Bank - because Compass Bank is EVERYWHERE, Mom."

I have to say that I was impressed - apparently, when his commercial real estate attorney mom talks shop, he listens. But I was also a wee bit perplexed.

"Connor, how does your picture show a world without violence?"

"Well, the developer hired security."


Little brother is proving to be an artist in his own right, but - in keeping with his personality - his compositions tend toward the fanciful. And the graphic. See, he has a morbid fascination with sharks, and he has not 100% accepted the premise that sharks only live in the ocean and the occasional aquarium or zoo exhibit. He is convinced that a shark COULD reside in the Ridglea Country Club pool, which was converted to a saltwater filtration system a couple of years ago. Until quite recently, he also was of the impression that a shark MIGHT attack him in his home. Not in the bathtub, but while he was sleeping. Because, apparently, land sharks are not just the product of the collective imagination of a certain group of Saturday Night Live script writers. They also exist in the very vivid imagination of the five year-old boy. Dad finally convinced him that the shorter of our two dogs was uniquely suited to, quote, "bite a shark on the leg if it ever tried to walk into our house." Again, the non-terrestrial nature of the shark was completely lost on the boy, who accepted the premise that his dog would prove an effective weapon against a shark ground attack.

Although . . . his artwork indicates that perhaps the shark thing still weighs heavily on his mind.

It's hard to tell who's winning in the first picture: are the people sneaking up on the shark? Or are those corpses? The second picture seems to involve a good bit more carnage - and also what I believe may be a boatload of Somali pirates, bottom right.

This last one (created with a stencil) could represent a budding interest in directing or producing for the 'tween market:

"If you liked 'High School Musical,' you'll love 'H. S. BOAT . . . FISH.' "

This would be consistent with his stated career goal of one day playing "the dead guy on CSI and then eating lunch at the craft services table." (Like his brother, he plays attention.)

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