When your collaborator is a four-year-old kid, expect pleasantness in an activity you both aren't rewarded to do. That's how Kai of the Curly Tops and I found ourselves on the afternoon of her Mamay Kimi's birthday working with paint, paper, canvas.
She has freely painted several abstracts weeks ago and put them aside when she discovered it was just as fun to cut old notebooks or doodle human figures, odds and ends, or sound out the names of the people and pets she lives with to practice the writing of words. Most times though, the ruled notebooks feature gibberish--clusters of consonants with a number at the end like "Wqwk Fhjjufjheybvjhfjkfhj...6."
After I was done with my so-called mixed media work called "It is only a paper moon / Sailing over a cardboard sea", I looked for Kai's old works, leafed through her doodle book, then enlarged her figures with a pencil, copying as accurately as possible the way she shaped faces, eyeglasses, stick-like arms and feet, flowers, etc., then I used her abstracts as background for the, uh, creative collaboration before finally outlining the figures in black. These exercises felt more fun because my own work left me a teeny-weeny unsatisfied. Calls for retouching tomorrow
When she saw what I had done, she first had this doubtful expression on her face, then showed the works to her mother and told her Grumpa Tats to have these framed.
I trust her instinctive moves so inevitably I asked if she could help me with the background for the work I intend to do tomorrow. I explained to her I needed daytime sky, green and orange below that sky. The figures I will pencil in after I implant a dream tonight. Meanwhile, Curly Kai dived into the activity like a pro.
Okay, Teacher Kai, you can relax tomorrow while I figure something out of the beauty you had created. In fact, your biased mother said it's already a stand-alone work, and I needn't touch it even. Touché!