Is that a boa or a marsupial?

No need to ask Noah about the goings on at pre-school today. He came skipping out the door with his surprise. It’s a gorgeous mixed media piece, unmistakably a Christmas tree. The inverted ice cream cone provides the familiar shape. The fruit loops of many colours and the icing are decorative pièces de résistance. This is a Noel creation sans pareil. Even though each of his classmates had one, no two were the same. The application and colour of the icing and the placement of the fruit loops made each edible sculpture unique. Check the Hungry Housewife for an ice cream cone Christmas tree recipe and other fun treats for the kids.

Noah placed his work, complete with protective saran wrap covering, in the empty co-pilot seat. He wanted to ensure that it arrived home safely. When I asked what his plans were for the Christmas tree, his response was quite emphatic, “I’m going to keep it forever and ever and ever on top of my bureau.” No chance then of getting a taste of this delectable art. We’ll have to make sure to monitor its decomposition, or would that be deconstruction? It will undoubtedly adorn his bedroom beyond Epiphany but likely not have the molecular stamina to stick in until Easter.

Nellie-Rose was making art in parallel with big brother Noah. While he was at school, she had free rein with many coloured strips of plasticine. Mé and I got her underway with a standard three ball snowman then got fancy and popped a hat on top and stuck a couple of spindly arms on the middle ball. This is about as good as it gets for me with the plastic arts – just a basic no talent. Nellie added her own touch by slapping on a mouth that was just slightly larger than the head. This toying with scale, the playful manipulation of the materials are perhaps the forerunner of a budding cubist.

Older daughter Alexa has just concluded her first semester in the foundation year program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I was thinking of her earlier in the day and sent her a link to an article about Canadian artist Michael Snow from Saturday’s Globe and Mail. Michael sounds like a man who is still playful in the execution of his work, has fun and perhaps does not take himself too seriously.

Alexa is having fun of a sort too I’m sure. She’s working her little toosh off at school and then pulling shifts at a local cinema. She’s been happy with her school work and has been getting good grades. Recent projects include a materials assignment where she was trying to make clear bracelets out of a resin. No luck on the clear part – some learning though about the properties of various resins for hardening and colouring. She also recreated an 80s punk fashion photo shoot with the help of friends as models and stand-in tech folk. Lastly, a strike for public art when she spray bombed a marsupial on a school wall with the slogan ‘legalize eucalyptus’.

It’s certainly one way of making sense of the world, creating your own narrative and putting it out for display and interpretation. As you can see from the photos above our species has a knack for getting at this kind of thing from a young age. The adult world can just suck the ability to see, play and make correspondences right out of a person. Remember Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince and his boa constrictor that swallowed an elephant…

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