Friday, August 12, 2011

Death by Speed Coloring

I think I am switching back to stone tablets as a requirement for coloring with a toddler.  My child must have A.D.D. because she takes her crayon (almost always red) and draws one line on a page from top to bottom, and then she will turn the page before finishing her artwork.  Or maybe she is really a genius, all she needs is one red line to express her inner toddler angst.  I'm not sure if she does this as a result of the high-speed, tech driven, gotta-have-it-now world that she is growing up in, or if it's because she's not even two years old.  I can't decide.  I'm terrible at art interpretation.

(Don't ask me why Charlton Heston as Moses is my photo of choice for this piece. I'm an artist!)

When daddy colors, he likes to finish the picture.  Plain and simple.  I take my time and color in the lines.  I apply appropriate shading to make the pictures seem more realistic.  I sign my pages when I'm done.  Did I just admit that?  Am I really that arrogant that I sign coloring books as if someone will discover them some day and say, "We've found the holy grail! A signed coloring book page from Matt P.!"?  I guess I am... that's pretty messed up.  Anyway, I secretly dread coloring with my child because she is always turning the pages - sometimes ripping them - before I can finish.  She has no respect for quality work.  She wouldn't recognize talent if it was staring her in the face, which it does, in disbelief, every time she turns those pages before I'm done. She just sees another place to put a big, red line and she's happy. Well, good for her, but daddy's not happy.

It is actually maddening to try to color with a toddler.  If you turn through our Sesame Street coloring books, you will see a Grover with one blue arm, a Cookie Monster with half a blue face, an Big Bird with one orange foot, and most likely, a lot of red lines.  If you turn the pages fast enough, it's almost as if some serial monster killer is hacking up monster parts and playing Picasso by forming them into some gruesome collage complete with lines of dripping monster blood.  It's no wonder all the great artists go crazy...  it's no wonder wonder VanGogh cut his ear off, he was probably painting with a toddler!

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