The children at the local Kleinmond Youth Centre are some of the most gorgeous and enthusiastic kids I know, and they are a joy to be with.
Originally, I was arrogant enough to think that I was doing them a favour by exposing them to art and creating an opportunity for them to have an outlet for their creativity.
Now, I know better. They teach me so much. I am the one that is enriched and the one who is learning from them.
The art activity was never meant to be a formal art class but merely an opportunity to enjoy painting, with the freedom to create whatever they felt like. There are enough issues and pressures in their lives and the intention was, and is, for them to just relax and enjoy. But still, here I am, learning to see the world through their eyes. Their real world. For instance, we live in a small coastal village where the sea and fishing are well known to them. At least every few weeks, two or three of them will paint a sinking boat. A sign of their emotional lives, perhaps.
This video of a three year-old girl (my granddaughter) shows that paint, a canvas, fingers, a few brushes and a loving atmosphere are all that is needed to create unique and honest art pieces.
But more importantly, for these kids it adds value and self worth to their lives.
Soon we will be working on an exhibition where they can showcase their work – they deserve at least that much.
And as for me? I once read the following somewhere: “By God’s enabling grace I will hold Jesus up before the world…I will seek to respond to his extravagant love by any and all means possible. I will strive to create art that will communicate to the world, and most especially to him, how much I love and long for his presence.”