Timidly at first, and more assertively as time goes by, Rebecca has been saying that she can't draw. She doesn't have any particular outstanding artistic gifts, but drawing is something she's always enjoyed immensely, and I was very sad when she basically stopped. Arguing that she could in fact draw, and encouraging her, didn't work. If anything, it made her even more stubborn in her insistence that, no, she couldn't. And she started to believe it.
I don't have any particular artistic skills either, but I'd been wanting for the longest time to do some drawing, especially botanical subjects with watercolors. There's something about the process of observing the details of nature and then reproducing them with the soft tones of watercolors that appeals to me. One gloomy day earlier on this spring, I finally took the time to do a botanical card of sorts.
My tentative watercoloring was just the kind of encouragement Rebecca needed. First she grew curious and walked over to see what I was doing. She stood by watching, and gave me suggestions. Finally, she asked to do her own watercolor.
On the kitchen table, out in the garden and at the edge of the woods, we find watercolor inspiration together, growing more confident with with tiny brushes, cracked, old but perfectly functional watercolors, thick, rough paper, and different wet painting techniques.
We now keep our supplies handy in a basket, ready for use. These days, before going out, Rebecca asks me, "Shall we do some watercoloring?" Then she grabs the basket, and out she runs.