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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht


My friend in BC, Canada sent me this photo of a drawing done by her 4 year old son. With it she wrote: 'Asher making fantastic splodges with some violence to his markers :)'

I love the energy in this, the exploration and lack of inhibition. What is so wonderful is the difference between the drawing and the typed text underneath, the latter a seemingly straightforward and rational set of instructions on how to install a printer. In complete contrast, the statement on top is one of energy and experimentation, tossing all instruction to the wind. No logic or reason is involved, though I imagine it will hold some amount of sense in that young boy's mind. His mother said that while he was drawing ‘It was quite a joy watching him inhabit his body so fully, and discover what all that kinetic energy could do even through his little markers.’

And the markers will have suffered indeed. I’m not sure they will be much good a second time around! But isn’t that what they are there for? To add colour and express, rather than to protect and preserve. The splodges are fantastic, adding something wonderfully new and unique to the world in place of, or alongside, a list of practical information.

I pulled out the image of the drawing this morning and thought to myself, ‘I could learn from this today’. After time in my studio ended in frustration yesterday, I am preparing to revisit the space and I hope to see things differently. I will crack open that pot of paint as though for the first time, with the same enthusiasm as Asher opening his packet of coloured pens.

“We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, remembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea.”

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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