Collaborative art with a one year old: Healing my artist within

I have begun what I hope will be a liberating lifelong artistic collaboration. My co-artist is as uninhibited as they come.

He paints with whatever he can get his hands on—turns the brush around and draws with the back. He uses his hands. Pours paint directly onto the paper. He loves glitter paint and often uses it exclusively.

I never see my son looking up at our wall of work with a critical eye. Frankly, I doubt he notices the ream of paper I have proudly displayed.

He is my teacher. There are few things as liberating for an artist than producing work without care for the final product. For years I tried to make this happen, but expensive paper and paints puts limits on wildness. Now: paint, paper–it flows like water.

I started out trying to let him have his space, not to intrude on his art. But really, that’s just weird. If someone is painting, why wouldn’t you be painting too? He invites me to join him. Guides my hand showing me how he would like me to paint. Then lets me deviate from the plan.

He is a true artist. He is done so the work is done. Now it belongs to the world. Sell it. Hang it. Junk it. I won’t even notice. There are so many paintings I never finished in my life, as I pined over the final details or just simply liked what I had done so much I was afraid to ruin it.

Really, he just wants to make a mess. And so he does. That is art. Fearlessly creating from the heart.

 

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