Is it ok….if I’m like… creative with my painting…is that ok?


A couple of evenings ago, some friends of Gabe’s came round to play.

Two of the girls asked me about the book I was working on.  I showed them my copy of The Lost Words and explained what it was and they started to pick out the letters of the words, hidden in Jackie’s illustrations.

They loved the shape of the otters so I asked if they’d like to see a film of Jackie conjuring an otter in ink. They were mesmerised by the flow of Jackie’s hand, her delight at her happy accidents, her conjuring the otter whilst speaking Robert’s words and one said, “it makes me want to paint.”

So, we got the paints out and they started… and soon all four kids were at the table.  

Firstly, like they had seen Jackie do, they painted flowing outlines in water to find shapes they liked. They mixed paint colours, matched with Jackie's blue of the bluebell, spoke the words and conjured their own bluebells ‘from dreams’. 


Soon, they were flicking paint to make backgrounds, enjoying the randomness of the marks they made. As they were letting go of their desire to copy, one of the boys stopped painting, thought for a second, asked himself and checked with me..

“Is it ok if I’m like…creative with my painting… is that ok?”…

He needed an answer.

Then the leash was off. This led to some wild Jackson Pollocks spilling out of them…


Which led to prints…

Which turned into Monets…


Not only ‘CAN’ you be creative, son, you ‘ARE’. And you don’t need anyone’s permission.