Please don't wipe away my art.
I worked so hard,
I can't restart.
Don't you know how tough it is
to squish a face like this?
Have you seen such perfect pairs
of greasy hand and tongue prints?
or clean windows,
which is more important?
The creativity of kids is something to be admired. Nearly everything they see is part of a new invention or an art project. A few months ago, I went into the bathroom by my girls’ bedroom looking for an extra roll of toilet paper. As I bent to open the cabinet beneath the sink, my hand brushed across a crusty white something stuck to the wood. stepping back in disgust, I discovered a whole pattern of crunchy toilet paper blobs cemented to the cabinet, the floor, and even the mirror above the sink. My daughters were feeling artsy when they found out that soggy toilet paper is adhesive, almost like glue, and drives on nice and hard if you leave it for a while. In that same day they also learned that bars of hand soap can be used to write messages and draw hearts on glass. Clever and intersting as this art project was, I didn’t really appreciate it at the time. This lack of admiration may have had something to do with the fact that we were expecting guests the following day and dried TP blobs are not exactly a traditional wall decoration. The scrubbing, I’m told, was not nearly as fun as the creating of this project. There were also complaints about how long it had taken to craft the spine-shivering piece of work and what seemed to be genuine confusion at my reaction to it.
Anything and everything works for making art. Words, pencil and paper, cardboard boxes, spaghetti noodles, earwax, ketchup and mustard, old food from the fridge, markers on faces, the list is endless. Find your thing and start a new art trend, just make sure your mom doesn’t have to clean up after you’re done creating.
I must admit that I still enjoy putting my own face on a freshly washed window and smearing it across while my eyes are scrunched and shut and tongue hanging out. If you do it right, it’s sort of like an ink blot test that psychologists administer to patients. All sorts of interesting shapes and stories can come from a single face smudge and even better when you add handprints and streaky nostril marks. Unfortunately, adults seem to get in even more trouble than kids for doing this – especially at work. This is why my artistic endeavors have mostly turned to poetry and drawings. I’d love to get back into the window grease gig, but those days are over I guess. Enjoy your window art while you’re young.