Monday, February 23, 2009

becoming an artist

This is a plate that Seth painted when he was five years old. You know, they used to have those kits where you get a round sheet of paper and you can draw on it with the specially provided pens, and then send it back, and they make it into a plate. I have three of them that Seth made in kindergarten or earlier.
I used this plate the other day, and Tofu saw it (Tofu is four and a half), and asked where it came from. I said that Seth did it, and Tofu's response was, "But he just scribble-scrabbled." Yes, he scribble-scrabbled, plus some grid lines and faces, pretty typical of that age. It seems to me that there is nothing here that would foreshadow the artist that he became.

My father was very artistic. When he was in his early 20's, in the Old Country, he used to do calligraphy for diplomas and so forth. But he wanted to make money, not art. So he became a salesman, and made money. After he retired he took a painting class and turned out some very nice paintings, surprising for someone who had never nurtured his gifts.

Of the three of us, my father, I, and Seth, I was probably the one with the most innate talent. I majored in Art and put some of my energy into it. But I was pretty lazy. Though I liked to draw, my hunger was for Family. Seth was the one with the hunger and the vision to create. He practiced and trained himself, turning his God-given eye for line and detail--plus what I can only call Life--into the artwork that we have in his books.


Jon said...

As soon as I saw this, It made me think of the Cicada cover Seth did. I guess some pre-lims don't come to fruition for 20-30 years later.

j_ay said...

Pseudo-child analyst:
Even at an early age Seth seems to have to notion of drawing a picture and then going over that image again (green, then black) much like he would years later, first with pencil, then with his trusty ink pens.
The vertical and horizontal lines also foreshadow an inclination toward working in sequential storytelling (comic books), as does the mixture of lettering and drawing.

Ok, more seriously, thanks for sharing, as always Vicki!

Vicki said...

Very interesting, both of your comments. Yes, and yes. I can see all those things.
Both your observations make me think that if someone is looking for their own style, they could do worse than to look at their childish artwork for the elements that were there at the beginning, and go in that direction, rather than to look at the work of someone else.

Anonymous said...

actually vicki, i dont think it is that typical od the drawings of 5 yr olds. the grid could be looking for organization in the world and to add such precise figures is unusual. as in drawing within the lines comes later in development. facinating to look at his art. so much crammed into less than 20 years. wow. mlb