I have just been watching My Kid Could Paint That. It is a documentary about a 4 year old girl who is some kind of child prodigy and sells her paintings for thousands of dollars. Questions came up about whether the girl was actually painting the pictures on her own or whether her father was helping her or in fact painting himself. I really wanted to believe that she painted these pictures. But at the movie I mentioned to my wife that there was no proof that she had painted them and shortly after I said that, my suspicions were agreed with by the documentary.
There are a number of ideas brought up by this.
The first is "what is art?". This seems to be a unanswerable question. As the saying goes "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder". If that is the case, who is anyone to say what is art and what is not? Speaking as a literature major, when I read a book, I try to understand what the author is saying and what message they want to bring across. I imagine the same is true for visual art. The artist is portraying something with their painting or sculpture or whatever. There is a message in their art. If this is the case, then what message is a 4 year old girl trying to give us with her painting? Surely she paints purely for the pleasure. What are we to think of art like this? Is it the same as a picture painted by an elephant or a chimpanzee? They are not delivering a message, the purely putting paint to canvas. Does art need a message? Now, if we accept that a 4 year old can make art but then add that she is painting under the direction of her father, is it still art? Where is that line drawn? To me, it's a truly interesting question.
The second idea I considered as I watched this film was about the child prodigy. How would you know? To discover if your child was a prodigy, would you have to be a pushy parent? Could a child achieve their full potential without your guidance? As a father myself, I wonder this a lot. I could never be the kind of parent to push things onto my son, but sometimes I worry that I am letting whatever talent he has fade away. People often say he is great at sports. Should I pushing him more in that direction? He also seems to have some kind of art ability and maybe I should be helping this somehow? In these two regards he is very different from me. I'm not even sure how to proceed. I suppose it is all about the fine line between encouraging and pushing. I hope I will never be the pushy parent.
If you want to see some of the art, the girl's website is Marla Olmstead. She is now 9.
Friday, December 04, 2009
I started blogging about food just now, but after one paragraph, I bored the crap out of myself. I'm sure if anyone was reading this they would have stopped sooner than I did!
Even though it's now Summer here in New Zealand, it is pouring with rain outside. I haven't heard this heavy a rain for a long time. On the plus side, it has cooled things down a lot. It has been really humid and hot this week and that's never fun. A true downside to weather in Auckland.
There is nothing better than lying in bed at night listening to the rain. I'm not sure why the sound is so soothing, but it seems that a lot of people feel the same. Last year when I was going through my rough patch, I used an application on my ipod touch to help me sleep. The application played the sounds of rain through my headphones. It was truly a relaxing way to fall asleep and helped me take my mind off things. Since my ipod fell in the toilet, I haven't been able to do this. I really miss it.
What do you do to get to sleep or take your mind off things?
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I stayed in Malaysia for a while. I was living with a friend and his family. They were kind of strange, but they were essentially good people. My friend's cousin came to stay while I was there and he was the same. I can't remember the exact details, but the cousin had a big wad of cash. I can't seem to remember why.
Well, one day he came rushing down the stairs yelling that his money was gone. Me and my friend went up stairs to see what he was talking about. Sure enough, the money wasn't where he had put it. We started searching around but we couldn't see it anywhere. My bag was sitting in the corner of the room and I thought to look in it. There was the money. I was shocked. I couldn't understand why it would be there. I took it out and handed it to the cousin. Who immediately started accusing me of having stolen the money and now feeling guilty trying to make amends. I can tell you, my faithful blog readers, that with hand on heart I never took that money. I looked to my friend for support and he told me that if I had needed money, I only had to ask him. I was shocked that even he wouldn't believe me.
It is the worst feeling in the world to not be trusted by those close to you. I could tell that no matter what I did he wasn't going to believe my side. I packed my stuff and the next day I left for Singapore. That was pretty much the end of our friendship. I suppose it shows that he wasn't a true friend at all. Or maybe it proves the old saying "blood is thicker than water"? Either way, to me, there is nothing worse than being in that situation.
Sometimes when things go missing or accidents happen at work, I get flashbacks to that time and feel like someone may accuse me of whatever it is. It is just awful. I am a very honest guy and to have people not think that about you... Damn!
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Last night as I was sitting in the lounge, my little boy came out complaining of a sore tummy. He sat on my knee and promptly vomited all over me. I could tell he had eaten rice and ham for lunch... It's at times like this that you realise what it is to be a parent. I wasn't grossed out by it and I didn't really even think about it. I called for my wife to help and we moved into overdrive cleaning the kid, the floor and me. This morning, as we headed to work. He was sick again, all over the backseat. Wow... who knew such a small child could produce so much?
I've never been overly disgusted with bodily fluids, but with my son, I don't even notice. All the things that come from this child's body... They don't affect me at all. This is what real love is, I guess?
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I told you it wasn't dead!
Starting from today, December 1 2009, I plan to blog a post a day for the whole month. This is over the holiday period, so I am pushing my luck, but I promised myself I would do it!
I have had a crazy time in the past year which has really affected my blogging. Lots of sadness, some happiness and all kinds of things. I have become lazy through facebook, twitter and plurk and I'm sure this affected blogging too.
Of course, on my first day I have nothing to blog about whatsoever. Thanks so much to Cergie for supporting my comatose blog. Hopefully I can repay your faith in me?
I have been learning French for just under a year, so maybe I'll post in French one of these days?
Thanks to Sarah and Francisca for reminding me of my blog!
Ok, that's number 1 down...
See you tomorrow!