Did you ever read that piece about learning all everything you needed to know about life in kindergarten? I don't remember who wrote it, but there was a lot of wisdom in that.
I think that we begin our little lives as the purest and best versions of ourselves. Then we have to negotiate the challenge of holding onto that as we grow into the adult versions that we think the world expects us to be.
Children are a subject matter that calls to me so often for this very reason. There seems to be something so fitting about capturing a little of the spirit of childhood in paint.
It's not just that painting is a childhood pleasure. That's part of it, but it's more because of that joy you see in children who are absorbed in play or lost in their own little world. That joy is not so easily described in words but it is so utterly enticing.
I think that because of this reverence in which I hold the very idea of childhood, and the fact that drawing children means drawing people, it is a subject that can be as terrifying as it is attractive.
I set out with the intention of approaching this series of watercolour kids with the wisdom of a five year old.
Just do it.
Five year olds don't paint in the hopes of praise or to demonstrate accomplishment. They don't worry about why they are painting in the first place or even wonder if they are any good at it.
They paint because it's fun. They choose their subject because they love it. Simple.
Wouldn't our lives be easier if we could approach more of what we do with the fearless zeal of childhood?
I have always thought parenting is something of a do-over. You get a second chance to see the world through the eyes of a child.
Once more the door to a place of endless fascination is opened to you.
Laughter comes easily and often. You remember that things can be simple if you let them.
Moments lost in play are not considered wasted time.
Memories are made and friendships formed rather effortlessly.
Perhaps this is a part of ageing gracefully - to gather the wisdom of experience while retaining the heart of a child.