Look Through the Innocent Eyes of Little Big Artists

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Today, in the final post about our trip to the Cyclades, I want to share with you something that we spotted on the Aqua Jewel ferry from Ios to Milos: children’s impressions of typical motives from the Aegean islands.

Kids can be the greatest painters, obviously not in the philosophical or allegorical mode. You cannot expect them to produce anything to rival the depth of the Sistine Chapel or Titian, but they are ready to give many modern artists a run for their money.

This is because kids have the “innocent eye” which has not yet acquired the bad and lazy viewing habits that can take a mature artist a lifetime to shed.

Most of the children’s works share two characteristics: they focus rigorously on the essential, not allowing any distraction whatsoever…

"Little big artists and their perception of the Aegean islands"

… and, in the perennial struggle between the two compositional principles of line and colour, firmly come out on the side of colour.

"colours of the cyclades shown through little big artists' eyes"

Consequently, some of these images have a more than passing resemblance with works by Paul Klee …

"an echo of Klee in one of the little bit artists ' work"

… and Mirò.

"in the manner of Miro by one of the little big aritsts"

At some stage, however, the innocence in the little big artists’ eye seems to disappear – I would guess at around 12 or 13, although generally no information was given about how old the young painters were.

Suddenly, they become more self-conscious, and art school influences are beginning to intrude, from Matisse …

"one of the little big artists influenced by Matisse"

… to Dali, a big favourite.

"Dali's influence on some of the little big artists"

While one young artist seemed determined to demonstrate that kids can be as disturbing as Jeff Koons.

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And children, too, can see things that are not there: volcanic eruptions, for example.

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Let us just hope that this was not inspired by a prophetic gift of vision and that, on our next visit, we shall find the Greek islands as we remember them, with all of their features intact: the sea, the mountains, the churches

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… and the windmills, of course.

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So good-bye, Cyclades, and addio until we shall see each other again!

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