"...When I was six years old, I once saw a magnificent image in a book about the Virgin Forest called "Living Stories". It depicted a boa snake swallowing a beast....".
"...I reflected a lot on the adventures of the jungle and, for my part, managed to trace with a colored pencil my first drawing.
I showed my masterpiece to the older people and asked them if my drawing was scary to them. They replied, "Why would a hat be scary?"
My drawing did not represent a hat. It represented a boa snake digesting an elephant. I then drew inside the boa snake, so that older people could understand. They always need explanations. The older people advised me to leave aside the drawings of open or closed boa snakes, and to be interested instead in geography, history, mathematics and grammar. That is how I abandoned, at the age of six, a magnificent career as a painter. I had been discouraged by the failure of my drawing number 1 and my drawing number 2. Old people never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiring for children to give them explanations over and over again..." (The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
This is how "The Little Prince" begins, this beautiful fragment reminds me how wonderful it is to be a child and how wrong I am sometimes... I want the "Little Princes" who come to the workshop to LEARN about color, line, shape, "important" painters, techniques... when I should be the one learning from innocence, expressiveness, spontaneity... not only from what they do but also from what they tell me.
You think, you plan, you prepare and when the class starts, no matter how hard you have tried to organize it like an adult, everything ends up being an adventure. These little artists know what they want, there are no complexes, no preconceived ideas, ask them to draw themselves and they will put on three eyes or paint their face green when at the same time they are able to portray another with an incredible resemblance and detail.
Recently we painted a landscape and Manes surprised me with a very serious reflection on what he calls "the contrast and depth between the blue mountains and the colorful trees", or how the other day we generated symmetrical spots on a piece of paper by dropping drops and Mireia drew two extraordinary dogs that I had never seen before. She drew them on the spots with all kinds of detail, as did Hegoi, who at the age of four drew a wonderful scorpion.
I ask them about the painter we are working with now: Van Gogh. Jon Ander says: "...he was a bit crazy because he cut off his ear but I like him because he uses very cheerful colors and it seems that the stars and the wind dance in the painting...". And Saioa "...I like them too and they remind me of the sun because of their colors and shapes...".
I like their thoughts full of sincerity, sometimes surprisingly reflective, others, almost surreal as their drawings full of fantastic stories that they explain in detail, their bright and cheerful colors: Blue faces, rainbow trees...; I like their lack of prejudices and preconceived ideas that hurt us adults so much, and that we try so hard to instill in them; I like their laughter, how they look at me surprised as if I were doing magic and give you a smile when they run, scream even if sometimes I scold them and make me angry.
Later I laugh and think: "How much I have to learn!". ANE M.G.