Today is Alex’s third birthday. Annie and I can’t believe how big our little boy (above and below) has grown. He learns more each day and teaches us more about ourselves every day, too. Annie and I want to share every experience possible with Alex, including art. He’s been to several museums and exhibitions so far, but his favorite museum remains the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, most art museums have a please DON’T touch policy that three-year-old children cannot understand. The next time we get to the PMA, however, I’d like to take him through the collection of armor. He enjoys playing with his knights and their castle so much, I think he’d get a kick out of seeing real knights’ armor. Maybe he’ll be too spellbound to want to touch, but I doubt it.
Like all kids his age, Alex is endlessly hands on. When he painted a pumpkin for Halloween, he got as much paint on the pumpkin as he did in his hair. When he paints with his (fortunately) washable paints inside, the piece of paper ends up a dark, sopping wet collection of paint. Alex will call me or Annie to sit and paint with him sometimes and I always find myself enjoying the pure pleasure of aimlessly applying paint to paper. Picasso said that he spent his entire life trying to make art like a child would, and I understand exactly what he meant when I make art next to Alex. To us, it looks like nothing, but to him, he sees things that we only wish we could dream of.
I often wonder what Alex will think of this blog when he’s old enough to read it. By the time he’s old enough to appreciate this blog, the idea of blogging might seem Paleolithic compared to whatever new waves of media wash up in the meantime. I like to think of this blog as my mind cracked open and spilled out on a daily basis, with just enough structure to make it coherent. When Alex finally decides to slough through the spillage, I hope he recognizes some of the parts of myself that I try to share with him every day in person. Maybe he’ll even recognize some of those parts mirrored in himself—but only the good parts, I hope.
I started this blog as an educational tool for myself—to learn as much about art as about myself. Alex was just a baby when I started. Having that little wonder in my life made me want to push myself beyond the limits of what I was and find out just how far I could go. Every great artist needs to find some inspiration to continue on. Annie and Alex inspire me to live not only for today but for tomorrow as well.
Happy Birthday, Alex!