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The Mystery of Art

A child’s painting of a turtle may look like a pile of mud to adults, but he has drawn something meaningful to him. When a parent, teacher or therapist dissects a child’s picture, they’re destroying the artistic flame that was ignited if only for a few minutes. Children on the Spectrum enjoy all forms of art and should have the opportunity to experience each. We need to let it happen without comments that can hamper—if not eliminate—the creative process.

Art is no longer felt by the masses; people paint from models rather than from the soul. Art lost a great deal of meaning when it was removed from a position of reverence in a church and brought into homes, businesses and exhibitions. A major factor in our society’s inability to recognize the spiritual aspect of art is due to the mistaken idea that it’s not basic to life but is instead something that is simply added to everyday existence, such as a painting to fill an empty wall. Art is—and always has been—important to civilizations.

We can either let a child imitate us when they begin painting or let them experiment with color and shapes. When a child sees colors flowing one into another, the page springs to life, delighting him. Color is a necessary part of the material world as it represents the spiritual world. Because children are still so close to their source, they paint what they feel, not what they see. When children are allowed to paint what they feel, their work has a beauty that shines through the colors.

One has a sense of figures, shapes and sensations that are moving within the colors to the surface. As we observe a child’s painting, we are tempted to analyze it, piece by piece. When performing a psychological assessment, this may be helpful but when applying Remedial Art to help the child reconnect with his soul, it can be detrimental. People who paint for sheer joy don’t care what others think of it. They’re painting for themselves, depicting what they see and sense. When we draw or paint for someone’s opinion, we are not calling on our spiritual gifts.

If therapists can’t feel or see the beauty of the arts, they won’t be able to stir this appreciation in a child. Therapists have to listen with their heart to what children mean not only what they say.