Pure Expression

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Most children draw and it isn’t until about 10-11 years of age that they show any concern in regards to whether or not they are creating ‘good or bad’ art. These are the golden years of creativity, when everything that they show an interest in –or soak in from their environment- is played out on the canvas, paper, driveway, window and wall.

When my oldest son Adam was six, he became obsessed with penguins and began to draw, model and paint them daily. My favorite iteration to date was a scene that he created from tissue paper, which he then glued to his bedroom window. I am ashamed to say that my first reaction was to scold him, but before the words left my mouth I was suddenly struck by the detail and time that he put into it and so the scene remains there today (the image above doesn’t show the snow clouds sending down colored snowflakes!). He was so proud of it, and for good reason. Sometimes I am embarrassed of my ‘adult’ mind-set.

I wonder what visions we, as nature photographers and environmental educators, might offer the world if we were willing to be a little more daring and less concerned about what our friends, editors and colleagues might think?

-Clay