Children’s drawing

As a child, my pencil and crayon drawings were very formulaic. I would typically start with a mountain range and then build a house at the base of it. The house would consist of a square and a rectangle beside each other, a triangle on top of the square, and a parallelogram on the rectangle. The square was where the door went, and two windows went in the rectangle. Around the house I would draw some trees, grass tufts and flowers. Then I would put some birds in the sky and finish it off with a ball of sun in the top right corner with nice straight rays of light pointing at the house.
 
With this memory in mind, and with my 47th birthday approaching next week, I have reconstructed one of my children’s drawings from a few items I found at hand. The result is a bit puzzling to mind, which insists on decoding the whole process and psychoanalyzing myself.
 
I figure I have either lost my childhood innocence, or I have regained my sense of youthful playfulness. Can both of those things exist together?
 

Children's Drawing

Children’s Drawing

About Brad Frederiksen

Engineer and analyst of electro-mechanical and digital systems by day job. Practitioner and student of life and art (broadly construed). View all posts by Brad Frederiksen

4 responses to “Children’s drawing

  • Cynthia Jobin

    Many years ago, when I was studying for a Master’s degree in Art Education, we—all of us adults—were asked to try to draw the “my house” drawing of our childhood. It was a delightful experience. There is a universality about the drawings of children that spans the globe…geometric shapes, a door, two windows, trees, grass, a flower, and the big sun, inevitably in the upper right corner….your childhood drawing was certainly normal…..don’t know, however, about your current “installation” to represent it! :-)

    • Brad

      Yes, my representation is somewhat of a departure from the norm :) I’m pleased to hear that your university level Art education syllabus had a place for children’s drawing. Was it an isolated exercise in freeing up the creative juices, or a kind of structural element that the course built upon? I’m guessing it was the former, but it would be interesting to pursue art history and art making using childhood practices and themes as a guiding principle of sorts. I have a collection of pastels that I’ve kept for a decade or so with plans to try my hand with them, but have never found the confidence. I may just take your prompt and have a go at my own “my house” drawing. Thanks, Cynthia!

      I’ve been watching children’s television routinely of late – attempting to relax my creative drive. I’ve grown very fond of Small Potatoes!

  • Cynthia Jobin

    The graduate course I mentioned above was an entire semester course called Art and Developmental Theory, that traced the various stages of development of children and how and what they draw and paint. The brief exercise in our drawing our childhood house was for the professor to make a point, initially. The rest of the course was pretty serious inquiry into the interface of art practice and human development. For example, there’s an early stage where it is impossible for a child to draw a circle, so being able to draw a circle indicates a forward move in development. Children’s art is a whole study in itself, and study after study has shown it to be similar the world over. Stick figures, for example, are erroneously thought of as children’s art when they are actually the doodles of adults. and the cutesy characters of children’s television are very sophisticated—nothing like the perceptions of children evident in their own drawings.

    i don’t know if those pastels of yours are the hard or the soft kind, but the inexpensive brands of the latter are very much like children’s crayons and would be very appropriate for your my-house project. Have confidence, just jump in, the swimming is easy! Incidentally, you are already too sophisticated to draw like a child, but you could draw like a liberated and curious adult!

  • kathi

    i like that the drawing is in a context, a space, you can see the room around it. i mean instead of blacking out the back area and zooming in on the “art”. I think it’s a really great piece on a lot of levels, bravo!

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