Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Why does this drawing delight me so?
I came home this evening to find it stacked on the kitchen counter with other papers the kids had brought home from school. When I asked Cady Gray what it was, she told me it was a robot. "It's holding two diamonds, which is where it gets its power. It's powering up," she explained. The ovoid appendages near the legs are airplanes which it can send off to carry messages. The gauge in the middle is a power meter. "And it can hold other things when it's not charging itself," she clarified.
Something about this drawing makes me giddy. The roundness, maybe -- the way the robot's instruments are distributed on its circular body. Or the imagination of diamonds connected by wires to the head, combined with the recognizable conventionality of the squarish, mechanical robot face. Most of all, it's that childhood habit of addition and accretion: having decided to draw a robot, the various features of that robot can be increased without limit, just be adding detail after detail. And of course, every attachment has a Cady Gray-ish idea behind it, as if they were symbols in a code that she carries around in her head.
I tried to explain to her why I loved her robot so much; I praised her imagination and attention to specifics and inclusion of detail and story. But really, I love it because it seems the perfect record of something surprising I never knew she was holding within -- the spontaneous yet meticulous emergence of some remote possibility she was nevertheless destined to enact.