How Much Would I Have To Unlearn To Be Able To Make Art Like a 6 Year Old?

I’ve been learning so much about abstract art lately, and doing a lot of noticing what I like, when I feel a piece works, and trying to figure out what it is that’s making it feel like it works.

Here’s an example of an abstract artwork that I think really works.

I love the composition, colour choices, and directional lines. It feels cheerful in a calm way and without being sappy, it’s got a clear but not too dominant focal point with a lovely restful sense of balance in the composition’s soft shapes and its placement of light and dark. The colours complement each other – I always say I don’t have a favourite colour because it’s all about the colour combination. Though I do have a soft spot for the pairing of turquoise and yellow or turquoise and orange! The line work has movement and feels naive, fresh and unrefined, and looks like it was such fun to create.

The artist? My son, Zola, a few years ago – about age 6.

It makes me wonder how many layers of learning I’d need to unlearn in order to create an abstract as good as this!

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Picasso

Is it art or is it life?

  • When you watch children, what do you notice about their ways of experiencing and being that you really love? What do you love about that? How would you like that to inspire you to be a bit more like a child?
  • Where in your life might you like to unlearn some of what you’ve picked up or been trained into as an adult, and become more like your childhood self?