Christmas Day 2015!

This year I continued the tradition of painting with my grandchildren on Christmas Day!

They continue to amaze me. All I did was provide paint, canvas, brushes and water, and away they went! The choice of composition and subject was entirely theirs. Afterwards as I contemplated writing this post, I looked carefully at their choice of subject, color and shape, and believe each painting reveals something about their lives.

CharLee painted a world globe

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day! This is CharLee Bethje's painting.

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day!

CharLee is immersed in college-prep classes and preparing for her future. Her classes probably cover world issues related to politics and geography. Her painting of a world globe makes sense. I think it expresses what she’s learning at school, as well the excitement she’s feeling about the opportunities open to her as she prepares for college.

CharLee also has a boyfriend who’s older than her and in the military. Is that why “distance makes the heart grow…..bananas?” Is he stationed somewhere in Africa? Are they going bananas from being apart?


Remington painted an abstract, earth-toned landscape

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day! This is Remington Bethje's painting.

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day!

Remington and his Dad are avid sportsmen and hunters, and have both brought home ‘trophies’ including deer, elk, bobcats and African game. Remington has most likely trecked many miles across rugged terrain. I think his painting of two green landform shapes with a blue-gray sky are influenced by what he’s seen on all his hunting trips. But the shape in the center is interesting and unifying. Is it a winter sunset, the color of a buck, or even the bloodstained ground after a successful shot?

I’m wondering if his words, “light speaks with its actions,” is connected to the changing of the seasons. Less light in the winter means leaves fall and snow falls.


Reece painted a wolf’s face

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day! This is Reece Schutt's painting.

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day!

Reece loves dogs and has several at home. He’s also introspective and creative. Several times as we painting he said his painting “wasn’t like the others”. Naturally it wouldn’t be, because his life experiences are very different from CharLee and Remington’s. Uniqueness seems to be his mantra, almost like a lone wolf, the predecessor of the modern-day dog. The colors of red and yellow are bright and energized and I think his painting expresses his own uniqueness and anticipation (like CharLee’s) about the endless possibilities open for his future.


Silas’ painting of a globe is similar to CharLee’s

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day! This is Silas Wise's painting

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day!

He’s the youngest grandchild and he looks up to CharLee, Remington and Reece. He sat next to CharLee and watched to see what she was painting before he even started. He’s an active kid, doing lots of sports and constantly moving. So thinking up something to paint–an introspective endeavor–is probably unfamiliar for him. So he watched and copied, which I think means he admires his cousins but also likes to add his own unique stamp on whatever he does. That’s why he signed his name smack in the middle of the globe!


My painting?

Artist Marie Wise paints with her grandchildren on Christmas day! This is Marie's painting.

It started as blended pastel colors with no subject in mind, although sunflowers kept cropping up. I just kept adding colors and turning the canvas around until it hit me, a sea and skyscape. Aha! During my holiday break I’ve been contemplating my 2016 painting focus, and one of the subjects is……skies!


I believe painterly expression reveals a lot about a person. Mostly, it helps me figure out things about myself. Long ago I considered a career as an art therapist, but life did not lead me down that path.

Now I simply enjoy painting. It’s close heart and soul; the collective sum of my childhood and adult experiences personified on canvas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Love from Marie Wise