Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Remembering This Moment: The Brothers Making Art

I haven't done one of these series in a while because, let's face it, I am quite behind on everything.
But there are too many sweet moments being lived out around here for me to keep missing out on remembering them.
That's what Remembering This Moment is all about.  Nothing especially thrilling or extraordinary--just the little moments that make up our everyday and that I want to remember for always.
What moment will you remember this week?
(to read more about why capturing these moments are so important to me, go here or here.  to read more from the series, look in the memory keeping category in the sidebar)

My boys love to draw.
They spend multiple hours at it every single day.
They draw in the car, while waiting with me at the dr.s, when I tell them to choose a quiet activity, or when I don't tell them to at all.
They start drawing as soon as they wake up in the morning.

I love to see them draw together.  They work side by side, encouraging each other, commenting on the other's drawings, sharing ideas and talking to each other the whole time.
It is their time and it gives me unspeakable amounts of joy to see them working together this way.
Many times I just stand quietly and watch from the door way, listening and soaking it in.

They sometimes draw at the kitchen table, at their art table in our school room/office, at the coffee table, on the floor of the living room, or their bedroom.  As long as they have a flat, hard surface to work at, they are completely happy.

It hasn't always been this way.  
While James has been drawing pictures happily since age 2, it has taken William longer to develop the hand-eye coordination required for drawing the kind of drawings that make him happy.
Just like his Daddy, James can see something once and re-create it with pretty incredible accuracy.  
He can also look at a picture and copy it with accuracy.
His art is not super neat.  He has never been one of those kids who wants to do it just like the example, or to color in the lines.  He has always done it his own way.
He isn't interested in making it look exactly like "real life", but somehow his drawings capture the feeling of the things he is drawing in a way that is enviable.
He already has his own style.
His Daddy loves that.
And James is very, very seldom unhappy with his drawings.  If he doesn't like it, he happily starts a new picture.  It's just not a big deal if 1 drawing out of the 30 he'll do in a day doesn't turn out right.

William, however, suffers for his art.
In the past year, he has finally reached a place where he can create drawings that are often to his liking,
But not always.
And that frustrates him to no end.
The idea he has in his head does not always translate onto the paper.
I can relate.  
That is how I felt every time I tried to draw something as a kid.
But William perseveres.  I didn't.
Often times, he'll crumple a paper and throw it across the room, and storm out, consumed with anger.
I seek him out, gently remind him that reacting that way won't help him get better, and suggest James help him with his drawing.
James does.
And William tries again.
And he just keeps getting better at it.

James is William's biggest fan. Without any prodding from me, he tells William what a great pirate ship he drew, or dinosaur.
And while William sometimes gets frustrated that all of James' drawings turn out so good, he can't stop admiring the work his big brother churns out.
Like I said, they really enjoy the hours they spend together every day creating masterpieces and mowing down the rain forest.  (I do make them draw on both sides.  unless it's a really good drawing that I want to save)

But of all the things they do as they draw, my favorite is to listen to them narrate their drawings.  These are usually the ones of pirate ships, castles under siege or fighter jets in the midst of mid-air missile attacks.
They talk through the sword fights, the pirates falling off the mast, the planes going down in flames and the castle catching on fire.  They add sound effects, and tell stories about the people or vehicles in the drawing.
In those moments, the drawing is alive to them.
And they are lost in their own world together.

I wonder sometimes how long it will last.  
I hope forever.
But who knows?
So for now, I just watch and listen, take pictures and store it all up in my heart.
I'm remembering this moment.

Love from,


Lillian said...

Thank you Greta for sharing these moments with me through your writing. They are precious to your father and I, since we are to far away to see them everyday. I also thank God for the gifts he has given you,in this case your gift of writing. It blesses us.

Anonymous said...

Lovely words Greta. The boys are incredible. My boys would have reached over and scribbled on the others picture and a rip roarin' fight would pursue. Such is life. Another beautiful remembrance.

Betsi* said...

Love your little artists. And yes, they are developmentally way ahead in the art department. (big shock with their genes, right? haha!)
I also love listening to my boys and their friends drawing together. My favorite is when Isaac and his buddy collaborate on a drawing. By the time they are done with it, it's hard to tell what it was mean to be! But the story and the sound effects and the giggles are the true art they are making.

Tyne said...

That is so sweet! I love watching my kids create too. If you do another memory keeping post I would love to join in. I think it is a great idea.