This is not as easy as it sounds

On Friday I ran a painting session for a friend’s daughter.  She’s 6. When I Skype her, she’s raring to go – smock on, a pile of paper, paints, water, pencil and four brushes.  She’s wearing a baseball cap which is lucky as I’m wearing my painting hat and don’t want to appear over-dressed. I also have my dining table covered with various paraphernalia including a jug of flowers, just in case.

We kick off drawing and painting a long, thin, pheasant feather which I hold up.  It takes no time at all. Then I hold up a ceramic angel we have hanging on the wall.  It has lovely features including a decorated dress, an intricate wing and a golden halo.  Bish bash bosh – done. I’m beginning to sweat a bit. On instinct I suggest we make something up – how about a caterpillar?  That gets a nod of approval and we’re off. I’m dropping in subtle hints about detail (all those feet, what different colours are you going to use?).  It’s green. We’re done. Seeing as she has a vase of flowers on her table I say that we should each draw our own flower arrangement. Whilst I’m trying to get my head round the various different daffodils and the flowering red currant in front of me, she has gone for the minimalist approach.  Four flowers, green stalks, two pink, two yellow. Enough. Miraculously, the hour is up so we sign our work.

For next week I say we’re going to do portraits of Mum and Dad and she can suggest what they wear.  A gleam comes into her eye. I’m praying she suggests her Dad wears his kilt. All that detail …

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