The Art of Living Life as Art

Our lives are very busy with art and life and living and creating. It’s not always easy to keep up with all that the boys do, but I figured if I take one night a week to try to sum up the last weeks events, we should be able to keep a rough idea of the meanderings of these artistic children.

Ben reading original poetry at his very first Open Mic. (Age 7)

Thursday night of last week, Ben and I attended our first Open Mic Poetry Night in the tiny town of Talent, OR. We arrived late, because we were coming after Karate, and so the sign-in sheet was almost completely filled in – Ben was number 15 on the list, and I was number 16. This seven-year old boy, who seems to not be able to stand still for even a moment while we are in line at the grocery store, sat for almost two hours, generously listening to all the other poets perform first. He chuckled at the funny poems, and was aware enough of his surroundings that he hesitated before clapping on the poems that moved us all so much that we had to be still for a breath or two before applauding. He was very involved with the whole process. Most of the other poets were retired. I was incredibly proud to be with him. He was so confident when he finally took the stage – like being in front of an audience is just the most natural thing in the world to him. He read two original pieces, and earned a First-Timer’s coffee mug to bring home. His is appropriately all black, such a poetic color! He cannot wait to attend the Open Mic next month. He has already started writing poems to share.

Then it was a Saturday in town – off to watch the Pear Blossom Parade in downtown Medford, OR. We were also remembering that it was the weekend of Leonardo di Vinci’s birthday, and as artists, this is important. Several of my artistic friends from our Fresno days were celebrating with an event called, “Live Your Life as Art for the Day.” So – with all these things in our minds, we set out for adventure.

Bean creating art to give to the Pear Blossom Parade

Before we could even get out the door, Bean was creating something, because my children cannot help living their lives as art – the second they are left to themselves for me to comb my hair, they are creating something out of paper, or designing a new costume idea, making a fort and imagining themselves pirates, or banging a piece of metal they find in the scrap metal pile in the back field into some sort of yard art. They exude and breathe art!

We visited an artist’s shop in downtown, as we were waiting for the parade to start, and got a lesson in composition, and how to put things off-center on a canvas. He had some lovely art all around his shop. I didn’t catch his name, as there were so many things the kids were interested in all at the same time, they were following their instincts to other bright objects.

Ben and Bean playing Chess with a Statue

The boys posed playing chess with a statue in Downtown Medford. I have wanted to bring them down to play with this statue since I first saw it. We are usually doing farming or other projects around the house on weekends, so it was fun to get out and do this.

We skedaddled quickly away from the crowds waiting for the parade. As fun as a parade at first sounded to me, my children aren’t used to big crowds of people, and are more used to running freely in open spaces. Keeping them contained didn’t seem like very much fun, so we ate carrot cake at a little Organic Deli with wild art all around the inside – mostly nudes – which was interesting. Luckily not too steamy. The kids didn’t seem to be too phased by it. And then we ran to a nearby park to play.

They liked being part of a mural at the Aquatic Center.

Bean is finally letting me take pictures of him again. He forbid me for the last several months!

It was fun to create art out of the things at the park – to run and play and pose and be crazy. Ben was, of course, running around like a Gorilla, because that is his favorite animal at the moment. At one point, he created a giant obstacle course for himself out of every piece of play equipment there, and ran through it several times, calling it the Iron Man. I snapped some photos, took some video, pushed Bean on the swing and then sat on a bench to write mommy poetry – the stuff that will fill me with warmth when I am old and they are grown. I will pull out poems written while we played together at parks, and remember all the bliss of these days!

3 thoughts on “The Art of Living Life as Art

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this because I’m inspired to do more art with my kids now. My husband and I are both artist but somehow we cringe at dealing with the mess a 3 and 1 year old can make. I know this is silly, so will try to make room for art time.

    1. Thank you – although – may I remind you that you JUST had a baby. Perhaps give yourself a week or two! Also – you look adorable in that hat!

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