What would the boys do?
I suppose these comments amuse me more than anger me these days. But my heart still sinks a little, to hear of another stereotype being voiced about boys and their seeming lack of creative ability or interest. I am tired and weary of hearing about what boys can't do, don't like, won't appreciate. When I was young, if I heard something that even vaguely suggested at something can't, don't, or won't, I interpreted it as a dare and set my jaw in determination to prove otherwise. Cases in point:
I took piano for several years. One teacher I had insisted that the girls curtsey and the boys bow at the end of their recital performance. Born a feminist, I railed against this requirement and threatened not to participate in the recital at all, unless I was allowed to bow. My mother pleaded my case to the teacher (who was, to put it mildly, unmoved and unwavering), reasoned with me as best she could, and finally hinted that perhaps I might find some middle ground. After playing a round of the Suzuki twinkle variations in a way that was "almost perfect" (my piano teacher's words) I stood by the baby grand and delivered a half curtsy, half bow before taking my seat... and switching to flute.
As a sophomore in high school, I was given the assignment to develop a persuasive speech on a topic of my choice, except I could not talk about any truly "hot" topics, such as gun control, the death penalty, abortion, and the like. And so what topic did I choose? Freedom of speech and censorship, with an opening paragraph describing all the hot topics I wanted to talk about, but was denied the right to do so. It was ballsy, and I was convinced it would get me thrown out of class or that I'd earn a failing grade. I got a standing ovation from my peers, and an A+ from my teacher, which admittedly made it feel less ballsy, but still - don't tell me what I can't do.
And so with what will the boys do? still echoing in my mind, I transformed our kitchen once again into an art studio, switching out potholders for paints and coffemakers for canvases.
After discussing several options in terms of composition and technique (keeping in mind I'm pretty much clueless when it comes to art), I guided Leo and Aidan into thinking deliberately about what they wanted to paint, planning it out and essentially "drafting" their work.
(For a little self-confidence of my own, I consulted this website several times. I love her ideas, but as a relative non-artist, her stuff can be a little intimidating. I mean, come on - her house has a REAL art studio. Not a kitchen that she converts for the afternoon.)
Armed with plans and ideas, we set to work:
In Phase 3, he filled in his outline first with solid black acrylic paint, and then a second coat with a sheer black fine glitter acrylic paint. The finished product: