Ali: Commissioned Artist.

I’ve noticed a trend with adult/child introductions. Anytime a new big person meets one of my little people, they say hello, then comment on a physical feature.

“My goodness you have such beautiful eyes!”

“Look at all that hair – I bet that’s a job to brush!”

“Oh – you’re so tall for your age!”

“Have you gone to the Dermatologist about that beauty mark?”

Okay maybe not the last one but still.

In response to these greetings, Ali has chosen her own catchphrase. She always replies with, “And I’m an artist, too.”

She has no idea how much she’d make Oprah, Winifred Banks, and Veronica Corningstone squeal with delight over her capacity to turn the conversation from her looks to her abilities.

In Ali’s mind, she is an artist first. It’s her chief way of identifying herself, and she’s earned the title – she spends hours every day cranking out bags full of art projects, filling my memento drawers with gifts, and making her room nearly uninhabitable and downright frightening to clean. Regardless of the medium, she’s always adding artistic touches.

Ali The Artist

As such, My Mom decided to commission an artwork project from Ali.

Mom is the director of Cubbies at our Church, which is the Wednesday night program for the three and four year olds. She writes a ridiculously ambitious Christmas play each year, and by “ridiculously ambitious” I mean it starts at creation.

Again – played out by very energetic three and four-year-olds.

Ali has many fond memories of her Cubbies Plays back in the day and so do I, but for different reasons – one of my favorite pictures ever came from one of these plays…right down to the backwards jeans.

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For this year’s props, Mom wanted childlike illustrations of each day of creation, so she bought posterboard and spent the afternoon with Ali and her creative juices.

Day One was a fairly boring day of creation (not much artistic interpretation can be added into “light and dark”), so Ali began with Day Two. They talked about what happened on each day, then Mom let Ali choose how to depict it into the art piece.

Here’s what Ali came up with:

God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.  And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

Creation Day Two

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

Creation Day Three

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Creation Day Four

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”  So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

Creation Day Five

(The detail in this one made it my favorite. The one fish with the eyelashes, the other fish with some passive aggressiveness, and I thought her bird feathering technique was pretty fabulous, solidifying in my mind her status as an artist.)

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

…And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Creation Day Six

(I appreciated that Eve’s conversation bubble required an extension to contain her excitement – it figures that she’d be more perky about the whole existence thing than Adam. Men.)

Mom hadn’t planned on making a poster for the Seventh Day, but Ali insisted. She told Mom, “I know exactly what it should look like.” Coincidentally, Mom had planned on them ruining a picture, which they had not, so she had an extra board.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. [Genesis 1-2, ESV]

Creation Day Seven

There’s God for you, arms folded, toes in the sand, head in the…surf, happily resting on the Seventh Day.

I mean, if you had just created beach, wouldn’t you head there for your day of rest? It makes total sense. And I’m sure that God is fairly capable of floating.

Ali and I attended the play so that she could see her first commissioned artwork on display. We watched as Mom led her procession of barely-not-toddlers onto the stage,

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somehow managed to place them all where they should go,

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(Yes of course everyone is always jealous of whoever gets to wear the star costume,)

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and they began their story.

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Miraculously, there were only minor incidents of Resting-God being eaten,

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Shepherd-on-Shepherd Hooking,

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(which did eventually require a leader rescue,)

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and only once was Baby Jesus thrown from the manger – by someone with an impressively good arm, might I add.

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But they were precious, every one.

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And when it was all over, my Mom rested.

Maybe not on the beach like God, but I bet she felt just as relieved.

Creation Day Seven

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Comments

  1. Ellie Wofford says:

    If I were you, I’d make cards out of copies of that last one! It is both adorable & cheerful! Ali has a talent for making art that makes me smile!

  2. I LOVE that she reminds people she’s an artist.

  3. You go, Ali the Artist!

  4. Trudi Burner says:

    Ali the Artist….there is a book or song or something there! I wish there was a way, (moderately priced) that they could all be framed together and made into a picture collage…..that would be really neat! How sweet that your mother thinks and adds to her plays this way by utilizing sweet Ali’s talent…and encouraging her to continue and get better at something she so obviously enjoys!

    Hope you all enjoyed your snow days last week! I read about your adventures….hoping this next “six weeks” of winter fly by!

  5. i so want to meet your mom. I want every Cubbie Director to meet your mom… she is amazing!

  6. Amanda Sheren says:

    freaking cuteness all around, oh my goodness :) Love the pic of when Ali was in the play, and my favorite of her pictures is God’s 7th day pic, he looks so peaceful! I also love that she introduces herself as an artist to people. There’s a really good article out there somewhere (probably on Pinterest) about not saying things about the child’s physical appearance upon meeting the child, but I don’t know where to find it now.

  7. Wow, I’m impressed with that bird! And with your mom’s play! Amazing!

  8. Those are great pictures! I particularly like them from the bird onwards where she’s got a bit more story to work with.

  9. This is downright hysterical! I love her artwork. And the pictures of the kids and their involvement in the play had me in stitches!!

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