You know art is a deep part of your identity when it exhibits unconsciously in the most mundane of ways.
From the time my children were very little, I made them little mini-aprons and gave them a chair to stand on so they could join me in the kitchen. It was a great deal of fun! They learned how to cut shortening into flour for pie dough or how to roll out sugar cookies with a rolling pin. My goal was that they should be as independent as possible. By the time they were six-years-old, they could make scrambled eggs, cookies, brownies, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, waffles, and other simple things to eat.
Eggs were a frequent recipe requirement. The JOY on a little face that mastered how to crack a cold, slippery egg and deposit the contents successfully into a bowl! Over the years, quite a few eggs kamizied themselves off the kitchen counter to dribble sadly down a cupboard face or go out spectacularly in a swan dive to the floor. Laughing, we cleaned it up together. Little hands were much more focused on the next egg.
Because young chefs were welcome to rummage in the fridge for ingredients in our house, I needed a way for my little children to distinguish between hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs. A #2 pencil offered a quick solution:
I don't remember any of the five children ever remarking about the faces on our hard-boiled eggs, and I didn't expect a review! I sketched a quick personality on each egg face-not because I took pride in my 30-second masterpiece-I just didn't want any design repeats.
Egg faces had to all be different: Old, young, thin, fat, elegant, bald, 70s sideburns or a 5 o'clock shadow, old-fashioned cat's eyeglasses or John Lennon wire rims, movie stars with a Marilyn Monroe beauty mark, and freckle-cheeked school girls, or a goatee-sporting academic.
That was a long time ago.
Recently, James was here at my house and opened my fridge. He found something alarming that as the second oldest he felt he could not overlook. He immediately took a picture of his concern and sent it to his four siblings (spread from Washington to Utah to Vermont and Arizona) in a sibling text. The message read as follows:
"We're going to have to have a talk about putting mom in a home. It's time."
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- Tags: #2 Pencil portraits, Adult children, Art as an identity, Art in everyday things, Artistic instinct, Baking with children, Children, Drawing portraits on eggs, Family, Portraiture, Sketching