Leonardtown has been newly named as an Arts and Entertainment district. It’s one of those small towns with a grassy square surrounded by shops, restaurants, galleries, and offices. Last evening was our usual First Friday, where all the businesses stay open until 8:00 and there are musicians here and there. Last night was special, including an art walk. Each business had a piece of art and visitors strolled from one to the other, voting for their favorite. The road around the square was closed to vehicle traffic, making room for tents where artists demonstrated their craft. There was a featured band playing all evening and many people sat on blankets and lawn chairs in the grass watching. It was a wonderful evening with very fair weather. It was great to see so many people enjoying an evening strolling and listening and seeing and talking.
The thing that I will remember about the evening is my time with the children. Several children wandered by my table. I was working on an illustration for a children’s book. They were looking at my drawing and my materials. I was using watercolor pencils. They came by, one at a time. Each wanted to know what I was doing. What surprised me is that they wanted to help. I offered up my pencils and before long, each was drawing things for me to use in my book. I needed things like a frog, a comet, stars, a glow worm, firefly, a planet, a big moon and a little moon, a raven, a boy, a cow, a pony, and a snail. Being given specific things to draw made the children come to life. They each said that was an easy thing to draw. Sometimes I would say that they could chose between something easy and something hard. They always wanted to do the hard drawing. It was a delightful evening and I left feeling richer. The next time I participate in such an event, rather than planning to sit and demonstrate something, I think I’ll opt to set up a couple of tables and make the evening about the children.
At the end of the evening, two of the children found me and wanted to see how my drawing was coming along. I drove home smiling.