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Published April 23, 2012, 11:30 PM

Parenting Perspectives: Artistic gene follows the Y chromosome

The artist gene in my family seems to run through the Y chromosome. My father could draw, and both of my brothers were true artists. My mother and I? Not so much.

By: Kathy Tofflemire, INFORUM

The artist gene in my family seems to run through the Y chromosome. My father could draw, and both of my brothers were true artists. My mother and I? Not so much.

Although I do remember drawing a barnyard scene in elementary school in which I thought the head of the cow was quite good.

Both of my grandsons like to draw. Notice they are of the male persuasion. But their artistic talents also came by way of their father.

I always carry a notebook in my purse. But I rarely use it for notes. It is there in case my younger grandson needs it. If he is bored and there is nothing else available to amuse him, he draws. During one such session, it was a dog, our church and his grandmother (see above).

I appreciate that he made me look thinner than I am.

Although the boys enjoyed coloring books when they were younger, they both preferred blank paper so they could create their own pictures. And they preferred color markers to crayons. I’m a crayon person myself, probably because that was what was available to me when I was a child.

My oldest brother, who died when I was 8, did have a fine box of color pencils, and on rare occasions, my mother would allow me to use them. I just recently came into possession of what remains of that pencil set.

I remember reading somewhere that you should ask children to “tell me about your picture” instead of trying to guess the subject matter. Kids always seem to be, rightfully, offended when you don’t recognize what looks downright obvious to them.

My older grandson liked to draw cars – hotrods and race cars – with flames on the sides and fancy wheels. He told his mother maybe he would grow up to be a car designer. Why not?

He has done well in school art classes. While still in elementary school, his drawing of the Statue of Liberty was on display at West Acres.

I was amazed at the drawings he did last year in middle school for a report on ancient Egypt.

The hallway of my daughter’s home is lined with the boys’ artwork, with each getting his own wall.

I asked my younger grandson if I could have his colorful drawing of a dancing giraffe. I could mount it on the refrigerator like I have some of his other works, but I want to frame this one and hang it on a wall. I like the subject matter since giraffes don’t automatically come to mind when you think of graceful creatures. I like “GY-raffes,” as Bugs Bunny called them, although I’ve always thought they looked as if they were made of leftover parts.

Maybe my attraction to the giraffe drawing is because my mother always wanted to write a children’s book featuring animals, which my brother would illustrate. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but I have the poem she wrote about the giraffe and I intend to hang it on the wall with my grandson’s drawing.

The third-grader likes to write (like his grandma), but he illustrates his stories. I could not, even if The Forum were to allow it. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but words are all I’ve got.