Probably most of us, as small kids, were given a box of Crayons and allowed to "scribble" all over a sheet of paper. We were not bound by line and the forms we made, although meaningless to others, held a magical quality to us. Children are authentic abstract painters. Skies are not necessarily blue, trees green and people could be any color in the Crayon box. We were free to just let the color flow from our hand. And, magically, we saw our efforts as inspired and beautiful.
Then, over time, we begin to want our crayons to behave better. We asked our tiny hands to stay in the lines on the pages of coloring books or school papers. We looked at our friends artwork and saw that some of them could stay in the lines, color uniformly and knew to pick the color that matched the perception of how something looked.
I was not one of those kids. For me, I wanted things to be slightly off kilter. I liked odd numbers and I didn't like things lined up in order. I wasn't big on matching either. I learned to conform, to a degree, and I see the merits of following direction, taking the measurement, following the recipe. But the constraints of trying to COLOR IN THE LINES, was an acquired habit that I have joyfully abandoned on my painting journey. For me, it's freedom-the freedom to stand before a beautiful vista and lay down color to try to get the essence of it, to rip the papers off of the crayons (pastels in my case) and break them in two, to wash in a color and let it run down the paper just to see where it goes. This is where the fun of creating starts and ends for me.
So, parents and teachers, I encourage you to allow your kids and students the freedom to scribble, make funny pictures, choose odd colors. I know, they have to stay in the lines some of the time. We all do. But, my oh my, its great to just experiment and see where the color takes you. HAPPY PAINTING OUTSIDE THE LINES!