We call Rylie Doodles. It is a nickname we granted her when she was about 6 months old. No reason really, it just sort of happened and stuck, as the silliness sort of does around here. And it is certainly no misnomer, because as it turns out, this girl loves to, well, doodle. Do you suppose her nickname has informed her passion? Not sure, but a passionate doodler she is. Shortly after her first birthday, I was sitting at the table jotting down a note with her in my lap and she grabbed the pen from my hand and started making marks on the paper. I was truly amazed. I had no idea she was ready. But we were excited to keep it going and quickly set up a family drawing time. We went to the art supply store and got a roll of butcher paper and a few spiral bound sketchbooks. We are using my old Crayolas right now, but you can bet that these and these will make it into Rylie's stocking this Christmas.
Since then, she takes every opportunity to draw, scratch, and scribble. Whenever she sees a pen, she proceeds with fierce determination to get a hold of it and put it to use. She also frequents my big block of post it notes and urges me to let her draw on them (and unstick every last one.)
The sketchbook and crayons are in heavy rotation around here. I am excited to continue down this road and to introduce her to new mediums and materials as she is ready and shows interest. This book is on her Christmas list and I hope to experiment with some of the activities. She loves for Ryan and I to draw along side her - often bringing us crayons and "asking" us to participate. Much of her book is filled with pages of Mama, Papa and Rylie drawing together.
Ryan caught the photos below just this morning.
She is amazing to watch. What started as a few timid scribbles has evolved into a full body, interactive art experience. She climbs on the coffee table, on top of her sketchbook, she carries the sketchbook around the house. She marks the whole page with quick, wide strokes. With quiet concentration she is completely absorbed and transfixed. We get out of her way and let her do her thing. As long as her interest is so intense, we will give her the space and opportunity for expression. I'm more than a little thrilled. Can you tell?