One day, while drawing with my son (then 8 years old) I took an oversized piece of construction paper, divided it into quarters with a marker to make it look like windowpanes, and asked him to draw me a window. He was initially at a loss, so I explained it to him- I wanted a picture that I could hang on my wall at work that would simulate me looking out a window. That way I could not only have something to look at, but also something that he made. What I saw out the window was totally his choice. He had a great time drawing a mountain to hike on with little people and a bear:
And this one coincided with a geography assignment, so it has a plateau and valley:
Seeing how happy it made both of us, I decided to spread the wealth and request more windows from other kids. Everyone had a great time- my nephews, friend's kids; they were all excited to make their own creations. It was also interesting to see what the kids wanted to see out their windows. It reminded me of a psychology teacher at GCC who told my class about a theory that when kids draw houses they are most often a reflection of themselves- it is an art therapy technique called a House-Tree-Person test . The idea is that a child’s drawings are a representation of their feelings and personality. I wonder if the windows are a reflection of the artists, or a reflection of the artist's projections of me- either way, I have lots of beach scenes, mountains, and a couple of bike riders- all sunny and happy, so I am grateful either way. I have since moved into an office with physical windows, but I have the windows hung up on my bulletin board at home now as inspiration. They remind me of the importance of perspective and seeing the world through other people’s eyes, particularly through the eyes of our kids.