In 2020, a friend asked me create artwork for the nursery of her first grandchild. To say I was excited would be putting it mildly. This was a big deal. When I was small, there was a picture that someone had made for my nursery. I remember looking up at it. Still have it tucked away after all these years. There was a lot of thinking that went into what to do. I never told her why it meant so much to me to be asked.
Aside from my 4-legged children, it isn’t likely I’ll ever have a child of my own. That didn’t mean I hadn’t thought about the message I would want to convey to my child if I had one? How should I do that with art? The 3 images shown here are the result of that effort.
My mom jokingly tells people my first word wasn’t “Mamma” or “Dada”. She tells them it was “Why?” Spend a little time with me and you will believe her. I’m curious about everything. That curiosity has taken me on some crazy adventures. There’s so much in this world that most people never know about. So, that’s first. I would want a child to know that curiosity is a trait that will serve them well throughout their entire life.
No one talked about kindness a lot when I was growing up. I heard a lot about being nice though. This blog is actually extracted from a larger one that I’ve been working on this week…okay…a MUCH larger one. I decided to break things up into more palatable chunks. So, for now, I’ll just say we need more kindness in the world. Being kind takes effort, empathy, and sincerity. No one ever had those three traits and turned out to be a bad person. Please be kind to yourself as well as to others.
My aunt kept me in the summers when my parents were at work. She used to sit me down and ask if I was “thinking my own thoughts” or had “the thoughts of others gotten in my head?” I always thought it was a funny way to phrase things. It still brings a smile to my face, but I do get it now. Those talks were some of the first lessons in being strong that I remember. Strength comes in many forms and is needed so often. Be strong enough to stand up for what you believe in rather than giving in to peer pressure. Be strong enough to defend other beings on the world who have lost their voice and can’t defend themselves.
You can view larger versions of the three images by following these links.