My daughter Evyn and I took a Mommy and Me class at MUSEjar a while back. We love taking these classes together. It’s a perfect one-on-one time doing something that we both love doing. I get to sit back and sip coffee while my daughter is captivated by storytime, then we can create something together and not have to clean up the mess afterward! YAY for no paint on my kitchen wall!
The theme of this particular class that we took was Peter Rabbit, which is one of her faves. I was thinking that this would be like the other classes that we had taken in the past, but this class turned out to have a twist- a huge lesson for me!
Miss Angie, one of the main Mommy and Me teachers at MUSEjar, started the class by reading one of the many stories of Peter Rabbit. She then guided the kids on how to use the watercolor to paint bunnies and vegetables.
Now, I have always been a fan of abstract art, but I've never fully understood it. How does the artist know that the piece is finished? What is the intent behind that piece? Why is that line, in that place and WHAT MAKES THIS SO BEAUTIFUL?! I’ve taken abstract classes before and have loved them. They've also been the most stressful thing I’ve ever taken. I never felt like I was “doing it right” and worried if anyone else would get it or love it as much as I did.
Taking this mommy and me class with my girl taught me the most about abstract art and following your intuition with what you are creating. Before the class started I chose to just watch her this class and only offer my advice when she asked, rather than suggesting colors or guiding her hand.
Evyn chose every color and placed every brushstroke INTENTIONALLY. I could see her focusing, debating and choosing each color carefully and purposefully. While the other kids chose to paint bunnies and gardens full of veggies, Evyn chose to paint “Peter Rabbits House." There was no hesitation or second-guessing, she was doing her own thing and loving it! She didn’t give two hoots about the instructions, she trusted her gut and her free spirit guided the way.
So, what was the difference between her abstract painting experience and mine? Evyn listened to her INTUITION! She didn't waste time thinking about the end result or what anyone would think, she just did what she FELT was right! It didn’t matter to her that no one else knew that it was a painting of a rabbits' house. All she cared about was that SHE knew what it was and it made her happy.
Immediately when I got home, we put it into a frame. I was so immensely proud of her, and admittedly a little jealous. Evyn didn’t care about the outcome or if anyone else saw it, she painted because it brought her joy. In the end, she knew what she wanted, when she was done, and that was that. This was her Peter Rabbit painting. That’s the lesson I need to learn from my daughter! We need to paint for ourselves and care a little bit less about what other people think.
What truly blows my mind, is now MONTHS later, if someone asks about the painting she describes it the exact same way as she did when she first painted it.
We’ve taken a few different styles of classes together, and all have been rewarding. I encourage you- mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, and uncles- come take a class at MUSEjar with your kid. You never know what they can teach you!
Mom and Me classes are held Saturday mornings, a great positive experience to kick-start your weekend.
By Emily O’Connor