Melody and I recently put together a package to send to our far away, very missed friends. The project began at Walmart. It was July 1st. I was pushing the monster blue double toddler cart around the acre store and found a back-to-school art supply sale. It was amazing.
Elmers glue: 20¢
24 pack crayons: 22¢
two glue sticks: 30¢
colored pencils: 60¢
pencil sharpener: 20¢
I stood and stared, trying to figure out if the stuff was a good deal or not. When I decided it was a good deal I began tossing stuff into the cart. Melody got excited.
IS THAT FOR ME?
AND THAT ONE TOO????
MOMMY, WHY ARE WE GETTING ME SO MANY THINGS?
THANK YOU MOMMY.
YOU ARE A NICE MOMMY.
After we got home I decided to put together a little package for our friends. We pulled out our new stuff and got to work. I found a package of white index cards and began doodling with a black Sharpie. My idea was to make coloring book type drawings on each card. I wanted them to be bold, simple, and fun to color in. Melody worked at the table with me, coloring with her new pencils and sharpening them between each job. As we worked she told me what to draw. Her strangest request was, "a tank top with a heart on it." (You can see it at the top.) We mailed these cards with a pack of new Crayons. It was great fun to doodle on index cards. It reminded me of Thumbnail exercises in college.
(For those of you not in the art world, we call little brainstorming drawings Thumbnails. In college I was required to do a certain number of thumbnails at the beginning of each project. It was a brainstorming activity that everyone hated, but grew to appreciate. It works! The key is to not invest in one idea for too long, thus allowing one's brain to continually come up with fresh ideas as you draw them. It worked beautifully for the index cards because I was just trying to do coloring book artwork.)
Here is some of our work...
Melody colored this one in all by herself. She was in another world as she worked on it. She said things like,
"Hmmm, I wonder what color I should use next?"
"Mommy, don't look. It's not finished yet."
Hearing her say these things was cool because I remember having the same thoughts and feelings about artwork as a child. I know exactly what she was feeling and thinking and I love it when that happens.