Thursday, 15 March 2012

life, rabbits, racing and art

I walked in to find Snooks singing to himself the other day.

“It’s a song about Solid Wreck,” he told me. “He is a racing car driver and it is about racing cars at the Grand Prix. Solid Wreck cheats and causes a big crash.”

Where do I start? First of all can I just say bravo to my son. A ballad already. And one with a tragic ending. I didn’t hear the tune but I am thinking country - a kind of Dolly Partonesque He Got What He Deserved But We Really Loved Him vibe. I could even see the feature film – Solid Wreck, The Handsome Kid of Great Promise: Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Solid Wreck is Snooks’ naughty alter ego. When asked once why he had done something – I can’t remember now, but I think it was pretty bad - he answered that Solid Wreck was to blame. Since then SW has not been to visit much and when he does, Snooks himself shoos him away. If it works …

Solid also has a cousin, Storm Wreck. I am not sure how he fits into the picture but in my version of this story he is the good influence who tries to keep Solid on the straight and narrow. Clearly it had not gone well at the Grand Prix.

Apart from being relieved that maybe this was the end of Solid - and very fitting one too – I was also delighted to hear Snooks putting his personal trials into music. Now there is a tradition I would like him to follow. I was glad to hear my message that doing wrong gets punished (even if undiscovered for some time) had been turned into art.

As I mentioned last week Snooks has told me that he paints to feel calm. His prolific creations are handed to me as I collect him each day from school. We average one a day which means five a week. We have three walls dedicated to his work and the rest goes in a box under the bed.

Our current exhibits include a collection of four related pieces, a study in black. These came from his early days of school. Each painting is increasingly blotted out with thick black paint until the fourth, which if you stare at it for a while, actually looks like a hole in the wall which leads into nothingness. I honestly think Rothko would be glad to call it his own. People often do an “Oh” when they see the Black Period collection.

More recent pieces have a definite nautical feel about them. Snooks especially loves painting with water colours which he does at home and a delightful little green vessel with red sails bobbing on an orange sea is stuck to the kitchen boiler. Above the fireplace hung from a string with two clothes pegs is a lovely image of red orange and blue. Snooks says it is a fish.

A couple of my favourites which he did one afternoon in the garden had to be taken down after I stupidly used a snail shaped sponge to print shapes on another piece of paper and hung it up to dry beside his.

“Yours is better,” he muttered miserably. It wasn’t of course. Mine had no creativity, no brush strokes, no originality. But there was no way I could tell him that. I learned a lesson. I have carefully avoided playing the piano when he is happily making up his two fingered tunes (he plays chords, by instinct) or pointing out that you need tap shoes to tap dance when he is doing his own version of Good Morning and Make ‘Em Laugh. And I never suggest to him what I see in his pictures even if it does look like a boat to me. But I walked right into that one.

The demise of Solid Wreck came around the time of Snooks’ fourth birthday and I detect a shift in the air perhaps towards more considerate, responsible driving.

Snooks also informed me, shortly after the song, that he wants a pet rabbit called Sebastian Vettel. We’ll just have to make sure the hutch has got a really good set of brakes.

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