Silas Art

How do you sidewalk chalk when you don't have a sidewalk?
How do you sidewalk chalk when you don’t have a sidewalk?

Silas, as usual, has been drawing like crazy. I can’t even keep track of all his drawings, there are so very many. But the other day, I was cleaning up his snowdrifts of paper, and I found several that I thought were worth sharing.

If Silas could do nothing else all day but listen to audiobooks and draw, he would be the world’s happiest person. Of course, he’s four, so why shouldn’t he just do what he feels like? I do nudge him into going outside, but once he’s there…he just wants to draw.

The world is his canvas.
The world is his canvas.

When he’s bigger, maybe I’ll care about making him well-rounded, but for now, why not? He’s learning a ton from listening to The Magic Treehouse. He’s content. And his drawings are amazing. He draws emotions. When there are weird size/perspective things…it’s not an accident, that’s actually how he wants them to look. Which means he’s already far more skilled at the visual arts than I am or will ever be.

I’ve been attempting to get him interested in drawing from life, in thinking about how a thing actually looks, how shadows move on it, how the colors blend. He’s not interested. We’ll keep trying, from time to time, but for now, drawing is one way he expresses his incredible imagination. Why be bored with the actual details of reality?

How Silas remembers Arizona: "This is a monster. He lives in Grandma Robyn's desert yard."
How Silas remembers Arizona: “This is a monster. He lives in Grandma Robyn’s desert yard. See the cactus?”

Today, I wrote up the official paperwork to inform the state that we’ll be homeschooling, and this drawing is one reason for it. If he were in kindergarten seven hours a day, when would he find the time to draw? I know a classroom teacher most likely wouldn’t let him just sit in a corner and draw for as long as he wants to. But I don’t want to take that away from him. He’s got passion, and he’s building skill. Someday, we’ll use those skills to help him learn everything else he needs. But for now, just a pen, paper, and time, is, I think, the best thing for him.

Fun fact: Assuming Petra is otherwise entertained, an hour of quiet costs me exactly $6.96. I have got to start buying those things by the case. It’s cheaper than a babysitter.

Sometimes, I want to draw with him, just to enter into what he’s doing, so we do drawing games. Here’s one we made up, called “Monster Factory.” You fold a piece of paper in thirds, and then one person draws the top part of a monster or animal, and extends the side lines down across the fold just a nudge, so that the next person (who can’t see the top) can draw the middle, and it will line up. It’s pretty goofy.

Top by JC, middle by me, bottom by Silas.
Top Silas, middle me, bottom Petra, who does not understand this game.

I occasionally attempt to leverage his interest in drawing to do some vaguely educational things, like this one time, I folded some paper together to make a book, and then I asked him to tell me a story. I wrote one sentence on each page, and then sent him to rest time to illustrate it. Toward the end of the book, he got lazy about reading what he had dictated, but for the first several pages, he stuck with it.

I’m a pretty big fan of “The Adventures of Dooman,” myself.

For those still playing along at home, here’s an oddball assortment of other art, with captions where I had the presence to write down what he said they were about.


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