Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Own O’Keefe

She finished it today.


My “little” girl is in finals week and everything is now done except for turning in her final project in her painting class. And it’s terrific, if I do say so myself. And I do. She utilized various brushes and techniques but at the last, it was her hands that completed the project. She calls it her finger painting. And she loves it – the feel, the smell, the oneness with her creation.

She has always been an artist from the earliest of days. I refused to teach her to color within the lines when she was tiny because I could never answer the question of “why?” to my satisfaction. Because someone drew them? Who cares? I watched her combine colors in ways I would have never imagined and frankly, many times thought wouldn’t work. They always did. I zipped my lip and let her go. If you know me, and you do, zipping isn’t my strong suit. But I didn’t want her to become ME. I wanted her to become whoever God created her to be. I thought that would be a LOT more interesting. And I wasn’t keen on lessons because I didn’t want her to become THEM, either. When she knew who she was, she’d have plenty of time to study.

She went through the prolific stage around five. “How do you like this, mommy?”

“Lovely, honey!”

“Okay, I’ll go make another one,” and five minutes later there she was again, and again, and again. We told her to work on quality. Our house isn’t that big.

Then I began to ask, “How do YOU like it?” so she could hear her own voice. And she became fiercely independent and now I have to chase her down to say, “LET ME SEE!” Unlike her mother, she does not need to know if others like her work – writing, photography, painting, music, or lyrics – to like them herself. She creates for her own expression and if others enjoy it as well? Bonus.

I wish I had half her moxie and very quiet self assurance.

And as soon as it’s sufficiently dry (oil takes awhile) and the shine is gone to her satisfaction, I’ll post a picture here. But it is the most beautiful iris and truly does put me in mind of a Georgia O’Keefe, but with her own style. If you can’t afford art, just give birth to an artist. Worked for me. :)

Thanks for letting me go on and on. Wasn’t it just YESTERDAY she was starting her first year in college and I was boo-hooing? Now she is done with that year. Wow.

I’ll be all weepy again come August. Feel free to skip reading me for the whole month. I’m sure I’ll be dreadfully boring.

©Copyright 2010


  1. Oh, I can't wait to see what it looks like! I'm almost bursting my buttons already, (or maybe that's because of the Butterfingers that you insisted I eat) and I'm not even her mother!!
    You've raised 'em right, girl and you have every reason in the world to be proud!

  2. You can never be boring!

    I love the way kids express themselves... they only try to stay within the lines because we or school tells them to. So glad you didn't.

  3. I'd love to see her finished product! My Katie is a good artist too. Her creativity has really evolved over the last few years, surprisingly so!
    Please post a photo of your daughters project soon, I am anxious to see it!
    Love Di ♥

  4. "I wish I had half her moxie and very quiet self assurance."

    It sounds like you showed her the way to hers. Congratulations Mom. I can't wait to see the finished painting!

  5. Robin, your guidance was exactly what she needed to become herself. I remember not coloring within the lines and how I was punished by my mother. Way different when you are allowed to BECOME. Can't wait to see the picture...

  6. I am looking forward to seeing the finished work.
    As for saving money on art by giving birth to an artist have you actually figured in what you have spent raising one? Lol.
    The joy of her being your daughter is of course much more valuable.

  7. Show up PLEASE!!!!!


  8. Can't wait to see her finished work!
    Isn't is amazing how fast the year has gone by...before you know it she will graduate!!!
    I know you are so very proud...and so you should be!


  9. In a million years you could never bore me!! Boring, is when you are away from us! Love that Hannah girl... and how lucky she was to have a momma who truly fostered her blooming interest and talent. Do we get to see her work sometime? I just know we would all love it :)

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  11. (I deleted my previous comment...couldn't leave it with a typo...but not sure if I deleted it or not...soooo, here I am again!)

    Being here brings an instant smile...
    I love "Georgia"...(Yes! pun intended!)...and I can't wait to see her work. She looks sooo happy.
    Robynn, you are a great writer and blogger.
    "Work on quality. Our house isn't that big." Smiles abound.
    Thank YOU for encouraging her to think outside the box...a sign of a gifted and creative young lady...and a sign of a very wise Mother.

  12. SASS I love that you didn't make her color in the lines and encouraged her to think about what she liked about her work. The earliest thing I can remember about wanting to be something (other than a cowboy) was to be an artist. My father threw a hissy fit and said no daughter of his was going to be an artist... it was too bohemian a lifestyle. I was raised in an older generation and you didn't buck your parents. I bucked him one time when he was telling me for the umpteenth time that I needed to get married and birth babies. I told him he could disown me or toss me out of the family, which of course he wouldn't have, but I wasn't birthin' no babies just to make him happy. He had to settle for the other 5 sibs to have the grandbabies and boy they did...

    When you get ready to take the photo, take it outside in a lightly shaded area so you don't have to use flash. I found that out long ago when I was in the framing business. Even if the oil is dry you will still get the flash reflection. Just saying.

    Love you, SASS! And your Hannah Bo too...

  13. I look forward to seeing the completed project when it is dry. I can already tell I like the colors!

  14. YOU,BORING?! Those two words just don't go together sister!
    Look forward to seeing her complete painting.
    Have a great day and Kaylee wants me to tell you,"Thanks for your sweet coment". And I, thank you too!!

  15. Oh, I can't WAIT to see it! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post... I have budding artists on my hands as well, and it is SO amazing to watch them work, and SO hard to keep my mouth shut sometimes. I LOVE this!

  16. I'm sure she's glad to be done!

  17. Dying do see the finished product!

  18. I know the feeling of them coming home and boo-hooing when they leave. 5 of mine came home this week, and 3 are leaving this weekend, one to clerk for a judge in Cheyenne, one to go back to summer school, and one because she wants to be "independent" and wait tables in her college town instead of here. My graduate will stick around for 2-3 weeks, then wander off to's so sad.

    My future lawyer daughter is also a good artist. I knew it when she was about 3 and I got her a Little Tikes easel, and she drew faces with eyelashes and the red circles on the cheeks. Then more details kept coming, and the skill piled on! All this art class crap in school doesn't do a thing for kids; they need to have talent. We homeschooling moms know better, right? Look forward to seeing your daughter's picture!

  19. Oh my. They definitely grow up so fast!!! My stepdaughter is in her last year of elementary doesn't help that in her school system, they start middle school in FIFTH GRADE!

  20. I don't know about her artwork, but that daughter of yours has gotten even more beautiful since last I saw her here.

  21. Oh, Robynn!!! I simply CANNOT WAIT!!!! I'm sure Hannah's work is absolutely AMAZING!!!!! And btw, YOU, darling, could NEVER be're allergic to it ;-) Love you much! ~Janine XO

  22. We are all artist somewhere inside, it's just that some didn't know how to get let out! Kudos to you for showing your daughter the way! Can't wait to see the painting.
    I have all kinds of pictures from my now grown daughter from when they were little, and my niece too! They are so inspiring, even ten years later!

  23. Well done! Do we get a little peek?

  24. I LOVE how you encouraged her to listen to and trust her own inner voice! What a tremendous gift that was! And just look at what an amazing young lady she has blossomed into under your encouragement! You did good, real good with her! :-) (PS: I'll start stocking up on tissues now in preparation for year 2 of college -- which will be year one of high school around these parts. Sniffle. Wuffle. Sniff)

  25. Greetings from Malaysia again! Just want to say thank you for dropping by my blog on my SITS day. Thank you again and hope to see you back here sometime! :D

    Warmest Regards,
    Jenny aka I'm a full-time mummy

  26. Show us that picture as soon as its dry... PLEASE!!
    And how on EARTH could you EVER be boring. Fab post... and I loved how you wrote, 'If you can’t afford art, just give birth to an artist.' BRILLIANT!! xxx

  27. Awesome! It's funny, because I was serious about staying in the lines. No one told me that I had to, my mom didn't care what I was doing with those crayons, but I never scribbled.

    I still struggle with that today.

  28. you have to show us what it looks like

  29. I'm dreadfully inside the "box" with my art. Wish my mom would've urged me out. Good form, Robynn.

  30. Aw! Lovely to hear from a proud mummy! You were so right to allow her art to find its own life, and not to conform to within the lines. I always ask my daughter if she likes her work when she asks me for approval, as it is so important that they have created what they envisaged and what they like.

  31. You're never dreadfully boring!

  32. I love the way kids express themselves... they only try to stay within the lines because we or school tells them to. So glad you didn't.
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