For six months around her fourth birthday, Fiona was passionate about watercolour painting. And then, as happens, she began growing in different ways. She had begun to work in a more representational style, and was struggling with finding the balance between expressiveness and realism that fit her tender years. She wanted things to look like things, but I think that the fussing over representationalism took away the pleasure of using brushes and colours and just painting.
And then she learned to ride a bike, and to multiply and subtract in her head, and the watercolours sat on the ledge by the dining table collecting dust. She had other fish to fry.
Out of the blue she got her paints out the other day. She painted “a colourful sunset, with snow on the ground, and someone walked in the snow.” I’m glad she can still find pleasure in painting. And I’m thrilled that she painted the idea of something as well as the something itself.