“You should write a story about me, daddy,” our confident and creative daughter told me shortly after I launched this series.

She’s a regular reader of Saturday Morning Stories and gets a kick out of reading about her parents. Her favourite story so far is The Kandinsky Curriculum. I’ll let you guess why.

She’s eight years old and enjoying the glory that comes with being in Grade 2 — still young enough that she’s not jaded about having to go to school every day but old enough to give her parents enough daily sass and eye rolls to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

She’s also a chip off the ol’ block.

Artist Spotlight - Janet Sutanto

Watching her grow up has given me perspective for what it must have been like for my artist wife’s parents. My goodness. The patience they must have had. Saints, I say.

Our daughter is incredibly prolific. We can’t keep enough paper in the house.

Every time we turn around, she’s absconded with more. Of course, she always brings it back. Used. With tonnes of doodles and drawings scrawled across them

Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite happy that she’s creative. Happy, except for when the important document sliding out of our printer has immaculately drawn houses complete with gardens, swingsets, and families underneath the clauses, fine print, and signature line.

There was a time I had planned to keep everything she ever produced, but I gave up after two days.

In fact, there was a time I had planned to keep everything she ever produced, but I gave up after two days. I didn’t have nearly enough space to keep it.

Plus, I consider it an act of mercy. For her.

As funny as I might have thought it would have been to haul two dump trucks full of her childhood art to her University graduation — likely from Fine Arts — it probably wouldn’t have gone over that well with whoever would have had to clean up the mess.

But, what really drives me nuts is the missing pens. She has dozens of her own pencils, pencil crayons, markers, stamps, and every other tool that can leave a mark on paper. Yet, for some reason, its the pens from our drawer that go missing.

I didn’t even know pens were that good for art. They’re Bic pens. So, there’s nothing special about them… except for their ability to completely disappear from the face of the earth.

The only rational explanation is that there’s a black hole hidden somewhere in our house that she tosses them in. They never return to the drawer. And they don’t show up whenever her room gets cleaned.

And don’t get me started on the glitter glue. Goodness. That’s a story for another day.

So, to my artist wife’s parents, thank you! Thank you putting up with my artist wife in childhood and having the patience to also encourage her in her art. It’s something that defines who she is and something that, looking back in 30 years, I suspect will define who my daughter is.

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