Art, by Father Andson

The kids and I are lifer fans of the Toy Story movies…as well as everything from Pixar. A true, long-lasting, and dear friend works there and had both given us a tour and had us join him at a screening of the new one, Toy Story 3 actually AT Pixar a month before its general release. Yay!

He’d also informed me of some extra special cool things that had been done for the “Art of Pixar” exhibit that is currently at the Oakland Museum of California, near downtown Oakland.

So this past weekend the kids and I were excited when we headed out to go to check it out one afternoon, on a “Free Day” at the museum.

The sign “Pixar Sold Out” didn’t bode well on arrival, though. The ticket attendant informed me that the Pixar shows have a limited number of tickets that are gone within one hour on the free day when they have the exhibit. She added that the rest of the museum was still free, of course. I waited for the kids’ responses and they howled that they were psyched to go, anyway. Yay!

It’s divided into the Art of California and the History of California sections. We aimed at the Art part. There’s a lot to say about it, but for now will suffice with: from the entrance that features various tools of artists from chalk and brushes and pencils and clay to Apple computers and more to modern art by artists, here, to mid 19th Century landscape paintings, it’s chock full of goodness.

Within the area featuring portraits — from the 1800s to the present — they have this kiosk with a mirror and a screen on which you can use your fingers to make a self-portrait that comes out looking like a water-color. All the portraits done by visitors — if saved — are fed into a whole collection that then find their way to framed screens on a wall of other portraits by famous artists.

So my daughter did one, painstakingly. She’s 7 and very practiced and I s’ppose basically coming right along in her rendering and drafting skills. My son (who turned FIVE today!) cares less for representational drawing than for putting what he feels down on the medium.

As my daughter finished hers, museum staff informed us that we had only a few minutes until it closed. My son said he wanted to do one and started in, laying down a swath of color to serve as a base. When I gently reminded him we had about 5 minutes to do it, he looked at it and erased the color, saying he didn’t want to do it rushed.

I then started quickly laying down lines to do my own face which I figured I could spit out super fast.

No sooner had I made some blue lines for my face shape & ears and some brown lines for my eyes, than my son started adding to it! I have no idea as I write this whether his additions to the picture are supposed to be bits of a representation of his face or are commentary on me or my face or my act of trying to get one in real quick or what. As I was saving it, and it came time to name it, he told me to name it with his name. I told him that I had drawn a bit of me and that it was really more both of us together and that I wanted to name it “K&Son”. He thought for a sec, and cheerily exclaimed, “Ok!” and waited for it to then pop up on the public screen.

So there it is (see top of post again.) It’s way more expressive than anything I could have done by myself. Though I believe abstract expressionism is the ultimate of what can be done with the medium of painting, I am incapable of creating that sort of thing. My son, however, has a different connection to the ancient starry dynamo in the machinery of night than I do. And thank god for that. :-)

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