Canadian artist and mother Ruth Oosterman started collaborating with her 2-year-old daughter Eve earlier this year. Ruth takes Eve’s doodles and adds watercolors to them, turning the collaborative works of art into beautiful paintings. She posts the results on her blog, The Mischievous Mommy and also posts timelapses on YouTube. Ruth is adamant that this is a collaborative effort and that Eve has full say if she doesn’t want her mother to paint over her sketches. On her blog, Ruth explains:
“Eve and I have spent hours on end drawing together and painting canvas after canvas… I have been dreaming of the day that we could sit down and talk about what we could create together and the vision she sees, nothing is more amazing than a child’s innocent insistence that anything is possible. However, her being not even 2 and a half I felt that was at least a year or more away…
I had been letting her use my black ink pen and realized that if I used watercolor I could use the shapes and darkness to create a painting that I would have NEVER been able to even think of on my own. Without those shapes and markings of endless possibilities from a precious child’s point of view absolutely NONE of those paintings could or ever would exist. Eve has pushed me way past my comfort zone and I am very grateful for this, it is truly motivating and inspiring for me. When I do paint it is done as speed painting. They are all created in a short time frame so I can’t sit back and over analyze the process, I want to keep it simple and true. I am never trying to paint over her marks but blend them into mine to become a collaboration. Just as my painting forms I make sure to follow her outlines and leave some of her drawing visible keeping it a collaboration, it is a fine balance that I am continuing to learn from.
At this point our collaborations begin with her and when she is finished her drawing she passes it off to me so she can watch me paint. If there are any she wants to keep as is, I can assure you, she will not hand them over. I find myself choosing the ones that are the most challenging for me to expand on as this forces me to grow. She enjoys watching me paint them and often will suggest different colors to use. As these next few months go by I look forward to letting her take part even more by letting her finish my paintings and perhaps I do the drawing and she paints! This journey of ours has JUST begun and if I look through it from her perspective, our creativity and possibilities are truly endless.”
Prints of their first five pieces are now available through Ruth’s Etsy store. If you want to see more, check out her blog and website.
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