The artist in making: Early Childhood/Primary school
In this section, my art work represents my early influences during this age range. Since as a child, I was always amazed by colors, specifically bold colors. Although I didn’t know how to draw, yet pick up a pencil, I had a preliminary understanding of the color theory simply by gazing into the colors that most stimulated me. My sister, Nazia, even observed me watching the way my mom would pull out a bright red sari and would wear it on while I played with her petticoat. Additionally, being brought up in an East Indian culture where bright colors were often in many clothes, I was automatically inclined to “draw” these colors.
I remember attending ICEC (Indian Cultural and Education Center) events during the months of Holi and Ramadan. Since my parents were practicing Muslims, and since I had many friends who were Hindus, I was able to integrate the spiritual principles through coloring. For example, in one event during Holi season, my friends and I wore white pajamas and used paints to splash on each other’s faces. Although I didn’t know this at the time, my sister informed that the purpose of using bright colors was to signify the season of love between Radha and Krishna, the primary Hindu gods. This was the time when I began to associate love with colors.
When I was 3 years old, my sister introduced me to water color paintings. She and I would go to Publix and buy a watercolor set with a book of mixed media paper. Although I sporadically created paintings (based on my mood), I noticed that I eventually began to develop techniques of blending colors. I was able to distinguish primary colors from secondary colors and then, tertiary colors. The first photograph represents my memories of my very first painting. I recalled how I used lots of blue and attempted to paint a “sunset” on the beach. The green color was supposed to represent land while the orange horizon and the red dots represented the sunset reflecting on the clouds.
Primary School (Age 9 years)
The second photograph below is a water color painting which reflected my younger cousin’s transition into adulthood, which is a ceremony that typically involves shaving a child’s head. This ceremony, known as akikhaa, was a spiritual milestone in the Islamic faith which signifies the child’s developmental processes. Typically, the child goes through this ritual by the time he or she turns 1. Therefore, this painting reflects the colors of growing up (yellows and oranges being childhood and purple being wisdom or older age).
Luquet and Piaget’s application of art work- An understanding of spatial recognition
My photographs and paintings during the stage reflect my early experiences of understanding the world around me. In application to the theoretical frameworks of Piaget and Luquet, these early drawings reflect the lack of spatial development of objects (Winner, 2006). In other words, my childhood paintings simply indicate my interest in understanding colors, but not being able to capture the objects’ shapes. This lack of realism reflects my cognitive development in this stage of my life. However, despite what these theorists claim, I was able to still make meaning in what I was seeing. Although I did not reproduce the same depth of the image, the sunset/beach painting still indicates the way I positioned the horizon line, water, land and the sun which defies the view that younger children lack spatial intelligence. I will concur that the sophisticated development of these spatial relationships is quite not there in my paintings. It wasn’t until my early adolescence and young adulthood when I began to “think outside” and make paintings that were a combination of impressionism and realism.
Winner, E. (2006). Development in the arts: Drawing and music. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Reema%20Basha/Downloads/development.arts.drawing.music%20(2).pdf