Look who's Talking

Sunday, 7th May 2006

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Alice, the girl next door, is now vocalising, coming out with phrases like 'where's the bee?', doing animal impressions such as 'buzzzz' and beginning to identify people. I'm 'Rick-rick' for example and of course Barbara gets 'Bar-bar', so Alice has already spotted the connection with sheep, wool and knitting there.

But what is she like on art appreciation? I'm not sure whether she realised these were drawings of her but she pointed to one of the drawings and said 'baby' and to the one in the top left corner and said 'little girl', so she didn't see these as abstract squiggles or as generalised faces and figures; she'd worked out the age and gender from my sketches.

Music often seems to have a calming effect on Alice, and hopefully on her mum too. She'll invest a repeated phrase like 'there's mummy' (pointing each time, just in case we hadn't spotted her) with a wealth of subtle variations - surprise, useful information, a touch of humour etc - as if she was improvising on a musical phrase.

When you're drawing a child of this age you've got to do a similar thing; get the basic pose on paper as quickly as possible before she moves again but try and catch the fleeting expressions as she moves onto the next new thing to claim her attention.

C - H - O - C - O - L - A - T - E, as you have to refer to it in Alice's hearing, is guaranteed to attract her attention.

Look forward to seeing her first efforts at drawing. Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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