Start ‘Em Young

A motivation keeping my mom doing many of her hobbies is the realization that what her children see her do, they will end up doing.

The idea behind this is that much of our education is the result of imitation. In fact one of the Greek words for education literally means imitation.

In this post I’ll relate the charming experience I’ve had with my friends’ children in gratitude for allowing me to enter into their children’s lives and do more than just make a mess with them.

Every so often I go to visit my good friend from college, Vancouvia, her cool husband Vancouvio, and their growing family. Each time I have gone, I’ve always brought my paint set with me. Because well, all things are better with a bit of painting.

This past summer while I was visiting, the oldest Vancouviette, was old enough to really notice when I would paint and seemed interested in it too. The younger Vancouviette joined us occasionally, but more because she wanted to do what we were doing. (Still, that where it all starts, right?!)

The oldest Vancouviette and I spent hours at one time sitting and painting. For a two-year-old that’s an incredible stretch of time!

My favorite memories of her as an AR-teest were when she, in nature’s finest garment, made herself right at home with me painting by a river on the slopes of Mount Hood!

Every artist needs supplies, so after I got back home, I sent her her own little painting kit.

From time to time, her mom, Vancouvia, would make time to let her paint. Colored pencils were soon added to the kit by mom… No supervision needed! 😉

One day her dad, Vancouvio, brought some journals home.

Older Vancouviette made sure to fill every single page in the journal with drawings. Granted, they were two year-old drawing-scribbles. But she had made a point of filling each and every page with some thing.

This winter, I made another trip out to visit and be with the fam. One of the first questions little Miss Older Vancouviette asked was “Are we going to paint?!”

And we did!

We spent quite a bit of time around the living room coffee table painting away, with records playing Christmas music in the background, and the decorated tree giving off a warm glow.

I felt like I learned so much as an educator. The major theme was baby steps.

Kids at that age aren’t ready to draw pictures at all. Drawing a line or a simple dot for them is such a huge victory!

It was a heavy lesson in patience realizing that teeny little steps are necessary. In this way, the little ones grow in confidence and don’t meltdown under overwhelming or perfectionist expectations.

The Vancouviettes: Urban sketchers ready to go!

One day, we went to go visit a church and take a look at how beautiful it was. When I packed my sketchbook, the girls brought theirs too.

Little Miss Older Vancouviette even sketched with me in the cathedral! Granted no designs of Michelangelo were coming out yet, but she made a start!

Many people have revealed that TO START is the hardest thing for them in trying to keep up a hobby. That is what it takes to do it. If you don’t start, you ain’t doin’ it, right? You’ve got to start.

Doing what we do. (My scarf mask looks better from the other side.)

This little gal is doing just that. She is starting a habit at a young age and is able to do it in the shadows of people who make time for her and encourage her. I can’t wait to see what she’ll be like five years from now!

I’ve heard it said that most people who think they’re not good at art have had some sort of intense negative experience, even if it was only one word said to them by someone close to them. While it’s necessary to grow some skin, I think that when a child is still growing and being formed it’s important to encourage them in these habits.

The Vancouvios all

Little Miss Older Vancouviette has got a head start, thanks to wonderful parents who encourage it and let people like me stay with them for chunks of time!

I hope this post brought a smile to your face today!

Thanks for reading!

#prang #windsorandnewton #UrbanSketching #UrbanJournaling #UrbanPainting #Children #Teaching #WatercolorJournaling #DoItWithKids #SketchJournal #Wonder #Vancouver #washington

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