My Son Grumbles: I am not a Picasso!


My 6th grader is a consistent achiever. He dislikes mathematics, but his academic performance is at least above a grade level.

My son maintains, "The Thinga Mabob is no work of art." There is no argument about that.

Recently, however, he got stuck. Despite of this boy’s academic aptitude and exemplary personality traits, he continues to struggle in his art projects. He understands the theory and principles of art. However, he demonstrates some degree of difficulty translating what he knows into many of his assignments. His main weakness is that he tends to rush his work and, as a result, ends up with dirty art piece. Defiantly, he affirms he is no Picasso!

How do I get my child realize that I do not expect him to turn in a Picasso masterpiece? It is a challenge to get through a stubborn head once a position has already been made. I have to try, nonetheless. I decided it would be better if I should discuss (with him) the issue plainly and directly.

I said to him, I want him to reveal through his project, that he understands the concept; and also, that he demonstrates at least 100% effort into the activity. One of the tell-tale evidence that he commits to it is if he presents a clean piece of work (that is assuming he submits one). I do not require a Picasso, Da Vinci, or Cassatt. I want him to realize that the version of masterpiece I expect from him, is one, that reveals his soul, his energy, and enthusiasm about life. I am lucky that my academy teacher-counterpart share the same position.

I want to know if my child recognizes that although grades do not give an accurate gauge of a student’s future success, they do reveal to some extent a child’s commitment to learning.

Below are samples of his art assignments. These are not Picasso masterpieces, but if he has put his heart into them then these are his own masterpieces.

Aerial viewpoint of a city using a 3-D effect

Drawing of a sphere using a cradle lighting technique

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.


Leave a Reply