It is not a hat. 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ encaustic on wood

The text on this painting is taken from my favorite book, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. The following quote pretty much sums up the section of text I used in this painting:

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.”

As I crawled around on all fours with my nephew this holiday weekend, I was able to see the world from the vantage point of a child again. I followed him around from toy to shiny thing to shoe and back, asking him the same question countless times (“whatchu doing, huh?” said in a ridiculous cooing voice, of course). If he could have responded to me, I have no doubt he would have been quite weary of my questioning his every move. Wasn’t it obvious? (The Drawing is clearly an elephant being digested by a boa constrictor!) While the message of this piece hit me over the head, I also realized there is something about childhood that one just cannot get back.

One can approach the world and the things in it as an adult, however, with the same simplicity and straightforward innocence with which a child approaches life. This is the approach I try to take to art and to my art-making, and that is what this piece is all about. While we have our necessary grown-up concerns, we can work to maintain an honest approach to all we do. The whys and hows and what nows will work themselves out.

From now on, when I share my work with grown-ups, I will ask them if they are frightened:

I showed the grown-ups my masterpiece, and I asked them if my drawing scared them.

They answered, “Why be scared of a hat?

…They always need explanations.

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