Monday, March 12, 2007

Art school

When Lexi isn't begging for a hamster or singing along, in raucous harmony, with her Hannah Montana CD, she can be found at the dining room table, elbow-deep in art supplies and paper. And I don't mind. She is content and I love that she is creative. However. The neighbors probably can pinpoint when I ask her to feed the dog or put her laundry away because she gets all snarly and unbearable, putting me off by saying 'just one more minute'. 'I HAVE TO MAKE ONE MORE PICTURE.' To which I pull rank and hand her the dog dish and laundry basket. I think left to her own devices, the pooch would go hungry and she would run around nekkid because the world melts away when she has a pencil in hand.

This month has been all about portraits. She draws the same girl (I think it is a self-portrait. I learned years ago not to ask questions about the resident artist's interpretations.) This week I noticed she had turned her attention over to drawing folks with buzzcuts and bald eyelids - boys. After several attempts, she finally blurted out that she was trying to draw a certain classmate, because he is so CUTE. And right there, I knew that this was different breed of observation, one that made her face turn bright red, and her breath shallow - a little foretaste of what is to come. I gave her a few pointers and kept my tone bright and cheery, although I could tell that her rendering wasn't measuring up to the splendor that is cutie-pie classmate in her mind's eye. I started pulling dinner together, hoping that the situation at hand wouldn't catapult into weepy, mind-bending proportions because despite my fistful of pills, I don't have that kind of prescription handy. Lexi continued ramping up, sighing more - making her wounded animal sounds that indicate that she is growing frustrated and fed up. A shot over the bow. I was about to start gathering Zack and the photo albums and make a dash for the door when I was met by Greg, the art master himself. I gave him my most pitiful look (I have several), the one that begs 'please talk sense into that child before I go stark-raving crazy'. And without further prodding or threatening, Greg put down his stuff and started an impromptu art lesson I like to call 'How to draw faces without committing hara-kiri 101'. Lexi resisted at first, despondent, as Greg studied the chum's picture from school and began drawing an rough sketch of his face. Soon, father and daughter were drawing in unison, perfecting his eyes, comparing notes on how best to draw his mouth. Laughter filled the house. Two composite artists, nailing their perpetrator.

When dinner was ready, the table was covered in pictures of this kid. It was sorta creepy. I don't know if his momma would appreciate this manic rendering of her boy over and over again. Some may even say this is early stalking behavior.

Maybe she should stick to Manga.


Stu said...

Please keep meticulous notes on Lexi and her moods and the swings that come with them. I will desperately need them for Paige who can already brood with the best Emo teen out there. I will need all of the sage advice I can get. Either that or start sharing your meds with the rest of us. ;)

Lisa Milton said...

I wish I had it figured out. My best advice, so far, is to tread lightly. I pretend I am dealing with an unstable person (think people prone to talking to themselves, out loud), because really, when I see the warning signs, she *is* an unstable person. I see the future - and it has emo written all over it. But I am still praying. Hard.