Our friends the Tibbetts (see the 12 Tonys page and the post on Pretty Baby, Tony’s porche) gave Emma a present for Christmas. A set of six small black canvases and some gel pens. They have been sitting in the kitchen, waiting for Emma to open them up and use them. She waited too long…
A bit of back story is required at this point. The kids’ elementary school has a wonderful art program called Fine Artists. The lessons are designed by our resident artist Kathleen Kane Murrell (http://kathleenkanemurrell.com/), who teaches them to the parents, who then teach them to the students. The parents get to make the art themselves during workshops, and a recent lesson was based on decorated matchboxes by Picasso. I thought my “identity box” was so much fun to make, since I really, really like little things (see my post Microworlds). I glued many things on that box, like a single purple plastic high top tennis shoe that I found on the ground a least a decade ago and have kept for no particular reason since. I also glued things with particular meaning to me, like a small Buddha because I collect them, and a thimble because I sew sock dolls (see my post It is Every Sock’s Dream to Become a Sock Doll), and a grey cat because I must always own a grey cat (the current is Julius). I enjoyed scouring the house, all my shelves, and bowls, and hidey holes, for small objects to attach to my box.
Now, remember, these canvases are just sitting there in the kitchen, and I probably pass them by 4 or 5 times a day. About a week ago, after the kids were in bed, I was hanging out by the fire in the living room, and checked out the bookshelves for something to page through before bed. I lit on Mixed-media Doll Making by O’Brien and Opie. There is a chapter on making dolls using a canvas turned backwards as the body (this creates a small space or stage to work in), and then attaching found objects for the head, arms, and legs. AHHH, those little canvases, just sitting there, for like, at least a week and a half…
In my defense, I did invite Emma AND Sam to make a canvas doll with me, they both declined. So the other night I broke out the paints and papers, dug through boxes and drawers, got out all my beading and button bins, and went to town. The result is six little canvas dolls, ready to hang on the wall. Since I also stole Emma’s angel coin for “Guardian Angel”, she has claimed that one to hang by her bed.
So this is a warning to all of Emma’s and Sam’s friends and relatives. If you are going to give them presents, clothing in their size (not socks, since I make sock dolls!), toys, or books would be a better option than art supplies, since I obviously have no shame about pilfering presents. But as I like to remind them, I gave them the gift of life, so they are forever in my debt.