Like most pre-schoolers, Cassie loves to paint. While most of our kid’s doodles may end up on the fridge, Cassie tapped into something beautifully and uniquely hers, and that has been met with requests to purchase her paintings. Now a seasoned artist at the ripe old age of 4, the Sydney child’s dreamy swirls have been featured in magazines, on websites and television. And, most importantly, she still adores creating art. We spoke to Cassie’s mother, Linda Gee about Cassie and her love of painting swirls.Purchase her work on Etsy.
1. Can you please tell me how Cassie began making her paintings?Cassie started painting in March 2016. As I do painting as a hobby I had some paint and canvas handy, and decided to let her try. Like most toddlers she is full of energy and I thought directing it towards something constructive would be a good idea, and so did she!
I was astounded when she did her first painting, and after her second I posted on a Facebook mums’ page asking if anyone knew of some local art classes that would take a 3-year-old. The general consensus was that she was too young but people also expressed interest in buying her art so I started a page for her where I could post her works up and people could follow her story.
2. What tools does she use? Does she do a painting in one sitting, or work on it over time? Pre-schoolers are not usually known for their long attention spans!Cassie uses acrylic paint diluted with water, and sometimes glitter. She works with forks, cups, bottles and skewers. Because of the nature of her paintings they need to be completed in one sitting. Depending on the size it can take half an hour up to a whole afternoon. It’s the one thing she can concentrate all her attention on for a long time. For the big ones, she takes ‘washing up’ breaks to clean the cups and get wet up to the armpits.3. Cassie’s swirls are already a very distinctive style. Does she talk about what the swirls or colors mean to her or what they feel like to her?
She chooses the colours she wants to work with (unless it’s a commission) and often describes what certain shapes or areas are as she paints. She describes sprinkling glitter on her paintings as making them ‘happy’.4.Do you feel that Cassie’s art has helped her develop other skills (i.e. – motor skills, emotional skills, social skills, etc.)?
Doing her art has definitely helped her with self-expression. She was going though a bit of a ‘threenager’ stage and there was a lot of tantrums and frustration. I found when she had a creative outlet it calmed her down and allowed her to gain some confidence. Her handwriting has also improved, as she proudly signs her name on each painting!
5. Are the arts important to your family? What do you think parents can do to nurture their children’s innate interest in the arts?
As a creative person myself I know that the arts can be easily dismissed as frivolous, but denying that inner desire to create, especially in children, is denying a part of who you are. I think as a family we are in the fortunate position of having time together and a creative space to be able to develop Cassie’s talents. Kids don’t have the inhibitions that, as adults we develop, so getting them to explore their creative side can be very rewarding.
You need to be prepared for a lot of mess, and most importantly, make it fun!