The Expressionist

"You don't get it, do you?"

“You don’t get it, do you?”

My youngest daughter has been the main contributor of art to this blog over the past few years.

The seven-year-old draws and paints like I write: because we have to.

She’s making strides. Her teacher at a weekly workshop told me that she is really getting it, that she’s really understanding.

I couldn’t be prouder.

But, of course, I’m not with it, as in with what she’s doing as an artist and how advanced she has got in her expression. I mean, expressionism.


Well, she showed me her folder of the year’s artwork, and she explained the concepts, the ideas and the techniques.

I watched and listened.

Then she handed me the piece pictured above.

“This one you won’t understand,” she told me.

“Ah…” I said, trying to think of how to respond.

She didn’t wait. She explained to me that it is a drawing of a girl hidden within the blue and black, and, yes, she told me that if I was wondering, the girl in the picture has only one eye, and yes, if I was wondering again, “I meant to do it that way.”

I looked at the piece again.

“You don’t get it, do you?” she asked.

I turned and smiled at her.

She is at an age when you can do anything. You can try, and you can learn. You may fail, but you can get up and you try again, and then it happens. You make it in something or with something and you smile, and that is enough for me, the memory of what was, and the chance to encourage my daughter so that she can be what she wants to be and do what she wants to do, so that she can give it a go.

I think my daughter could read my thoughts in the expressions on my face because she smiled too, and more broadly than me.

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