Smiling Mermaids


You have not experienced an art museum in all of its glory, mystery and color until you attend it with a Daisy Girl Scout for an art exploration day.  Lizzie saw all the possibilities of art – the color it could be, the picture it could be – and in some instances the disaster it could be (definitive proof that she is related to her grandfather and great-grandmother – See I’m Surrounded By Crazy People).

The first thing to impress Lizzie when we walked into the Joslyn Art Museum, was the large Chihuly Sculpture in the entryway which hangs from the ceiling to the floor.  If you have never experienced one of his glass creations, think of sea anemones and bubbles made out of multi-colored hand-blown glass.  Lizzie immediately wanted to know how the thing was staying up, if it fell would it crush everyone underneath, wouldn’t it be terrible if some of it broke when they were dusting it, etc.  I just stopped and stared at her in disbelief – she had obviously been spending waaay too much time with Grandpa!  After I explained that it was perfectly safe, she thought it was wonderful that we got to see something which would even make a mermaid smile because it was so beautiful.

I wanted to show Lizzie some of my favorite paintings – but that was not to be, because she was intent upon creating her own artwork to hang in the museum.  So, we proceeded to the drawing and painting exercises for the girls.

The first stop was learning how to draw a flower and all of its details using a magnifying glass and chalk.  The magnifying glass lets them get a good close look at a certain part of the flower and then draw the details.  It was very clear after the first line of chalk that Lizzie is going to be more like Pablo Picasso than Rembrandt.  She saw her flower in her own special way and she knew how it inspired her – to heck with the details – this is what her heart and soul told her to draw!

My picture - my vision!

My picture – my vision!

Before we went to the next station which involved watercolors, I thought we would go see some of the great masters and maybe Lizzie would get some ideas for her own art.  After the second picture was pronounced to not have enough mermaids, flowers and grass (even though it was a still life of a bowl of fruit) – Lizzie informed me that this was a waste of time – she knew what she wanted in her picture – lots of color, mermaids, flowers and grass!  Let’s get to it and get this picture done!  This museum needed one of her pictures which would make people smile instead of stand back, put their hands on their chins and say ‘ummm’.

So, we proceeded to the watercolor station where Lizzie was definitely in her element – she was told to draw any sea creatures she wanted to live in her ocean. Once she was done, they showed her a technique which made it look like her creatures and beautiful flowers were underwater.  She could have stayed there all day, making mermaids, flowers and grass, but alas, there were more Girl Scouts who needed to have their time as artists.

Our last adventure was to stop and listen to a local songwriter while we admired Lizzie’s beautiful pieces.  It was appropriate that this was under the very sculpture we had seen earlier (and which Lizzie thought would come tumbling down).  What better place to look at our mermaids, flowers and grass than under something which would make the mermaids smile.


My smiling mermaid.


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