weekend wanderings

[Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane]

Are you like me and feel that this time of year can go a little crazy in task-mode - steering children back into school routines, figuring out the new work-week schedule for each member of the family - I need as much 'reminding' as I can get around me in these days and so lists and schedules are on my brain!
For all these reasons and more, our family needed to change gears a little this past weekend! I took the older girlies and a friend to GOMA's Matisse Drawing Life exhibition and spent a staggering 3 hours engrossed - so much so, I had to drag them away!

[S sketching + Matisse 'self portrait, ink on paper 1900']

"I have always considered drawing not as an exercise of particular dexterity… but as a means deliberately simplified so as to give simplicity and spontaneity to the expression, which should speak without clumsiness, directly to the mind of the spectator." Henri Matisse

[E sketches - Matisse 'nude seated with crossed legs 11 1941-42']

[girls sketching in middle of gallery floor + Matisse 'the swan etching 1931-32']

[S was enamoured with a french story book so she copied out a whole page, illustration and all!]

As we began our wandering, the girls remarked 'oh, is it just sketches...'. I became a bit nervous that it would be a very 'quick' wander! 'Lets pick our favourate sketch in each room and draw it, I suggested' and they began a little reluctantly. But with a LOT of encouragement, banning the use of the eraser and noticing Mattise own quote that he drew one scene over 3000 times before completing the work - 3000!! they got right into it! I encouraged that each of their sketches was part of a process of training the eye to 'see' and even when their sketch didn't quite resemble the origional I would remind them that Matisse probably thought that about many of these sketches - thats why he drew and drew again!!
The gallery was crowded and visitors had to step over or around my busy and engaged girls - most with encouraging whispers or broad smiles! Our 'experiencing' of the art drew much interest and yet the children were lost in a world of their own creating.

[E sketching in the drawing room + Matisse 'face of a woman 1935']

"If I trust my drawing hand it is because in training it to serve me, I forced myself never to let it take precedence over my feelings." Henri Matisse

[E's version of Matisse 'dancers']

We ended in the Drawing Room and it was here that even the offer of hot chocolate+biscuits failed to entice! They drew on, by easel, stool and electronic tablet..a teacher visiting Brisbane just for the exhibit took photographs of the girls work + at work - 'the richest way to spend an afternoon, well done' she encouraged yet actually, it was really no effort, for I was simply living what I love and sharing it with my children. Something I think we must remember to live out often as parents...a key to growing passionate, creative and inquisitive children...
If you enjoy a slow wander through the art gallery, I'd encourage you to take your children, a few pencils and paper and a lot of encouragement and enjoy this wonderful exhibit - its only on until 4th March 2012! And if art is not really your thing, then how about sharing a little of your passions with your children this weekend...

[the extraordinary view from the Drawing room cafe]

[S's sketching]

"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence." Henri Matisse