Child art is not childish

Both artists while returning enquired if there was any way to stop the adults from painting. What is it they saw in these children’s painting? They apparently felt that the flow of children’s movement generates from the heart and not from the mind. Some of their expressions reflected the style of unrealistic artists like Dali, which they might not even have dreamt of. Their paintings cannot be copied by any other child or by adults. For them, it is a nature’s gift. This was supported by famous philosopher and artist Henri Bergson. He said that intrusion is the ability of visualising several incompatible images occupying the same spot in space. Paul Klee repeatedly said that a good artist must be able to hold the entire plane in a single undivided focus.

Paul Klee was enormously gifted young painter who was still looking for the precise form in which his genius would express itself. A super draftsman, who was famous for the disturbing figure he had drawn and later on his painting, depicted the beauty of innocent child art. The word Art though so common, speaks a lot with a simple definition “Keeping the things in order,” both external and internal, and only if this is followed, can we say that they are artists, even if they do not know to paint.

Adults are always of the opinion that child art is childish. But in reality, it is not so. Child’s psychology is different from that of adults and a child can see and imagine things, what most adults cannot. As the child grows, he starts losing something which the adults fail to protect and support. Have you seen paintings of children? As an experiment, someone asked an unconditioned child to draw “my family”. The child without hesitation started drawing first the picture of house, on the top of the house his loving father, on either side his mother and himself, sister and his loving dog. The whole painting is one and cannot be separated. The picture is drawn by movement of single stroke. There is no clinical perfection. There is no division or parts in between.  It has an undivided focus. In a way, the whole picture is created with one centre and they are just perfect in every way.

Anton Ehrenzweig, an Austrian critic settled in England has written a number of books on child art and also has said that a child is endowed with a vision, with which he is able to see the things as a whole rather than in parts. The academic teachers at the art school insist on an endless study of details of cores, sounds, space, geometrical perfection etc.
To the child, three dots in a circle can make a face, but the child is unable to express feelings of joy, sorrow, or disgust that would have come from the pictures without thought or effort. A child can retain this power up to 8 years. After that he enters the adult world and slowly starts learning his unusual unknown power. The child’s mind is not guided by rigorously organised processes as that of the adult.  The unconscious fantasy of the child fails to articulate time and space as we understand it. Child art, therefore, is in no way inferior to adult art.

Preediv art classes, Bejai, has been constantly striving to promote and develop child art and offers wide scope for the children to enhance their creativity and encourages children to think beyond their imagination and excel. On the occasion of completion of 2 years of art classes, Preediv art classes has organised a children’s art exhibition, ‘Little Expressions-2011’ which will be inaugurated on April 12, 2011 at 4 pm to promote child art. The participating students include Varun, Cheryl, Aashna, Suraksha, Rahul, Sakshi, Muralidhar and Suhas. These children have experimented with several medium like oil, acrylic, water color, charcoal and so on. There are realistic, semi realistic and abstract series of art works. Each of their works is unique with an aesthetic essence in them.

The Author is a Senior artist and art critic

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