I keep this and a few other “how-to” type books with Norah’s art supplies.
The other day, Norah brought me this book and asked if she could paint this parrot. I said, “Yes. But if you really want to paint a parrot that looks like this parrot, you know that you have to follow the directions.” To this, she cringed a little. I told her, “You should follow them at least once… until you have some real experience and you are sure you can paint a parrot… Once you’ve done it once their way, you will probably come up with another way to do it.” To this, she brightened.
Note: Up to this point, Norah has told me she wants to paint this or that… but once she is confronted with paint and an empty page, she has never had the patience necessary to draw the picture in her head before painting it and if she draws it, she will paint everything so fast that her colors blend and the whole thing becomes a brown-grey mess. This has always been frustrating to her.
She had to draw the parrot a few times before it was the one she wanted. Then she had to paint one color, wait for it to dry, go back, mix paints and paint more colors and then wait for those to dry, etc. It took her three days to do this project. But, she followed directions and did this entirely on her own. I only helped to keep her space neat. I am very proud of the patience she showed. I think she’s learned the important lesson that some projects take longer than one day to complete, but they are worth the wait.