do you like butter? lessons from a child…

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27/10/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Simple thingsPerhaps it is because a child is nearer the ground that they see things we overlook. Perhaps it is because they have more time than we do that they stop to smell, touch and enjoy natural wonders. Or perhaps these are merely excuses designed to make adults feel better about neglecting the simples things of life.

When I was a child my mother would pick a buttercup, hold it under my chin and ask me “do you like butter?”. If my chin glowed yellow it was a confirmation of the fact. How I marveled that a little yellow flower could be such an oracle! Then – oh joy – a string of daisies made the daintiest of necklaces; a dandelion would sail on the wind if you blew it; a snowball tree felt like real snow!

Children are experts in fully utilising all five senses to explore their world. When did we – as learned adults – stop being sensitive to the senses? Maybe it was when we became too busy with “life” to notice “life”.

As an artist one needs to carefully study their subject to see light, detail, tone and form. For those of us who are not used to stretching our senses this can be quite a challenge.

Before a child crosses a road he is taught to “Stop, Look and Listen”. What a great motto for life!

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