I’m in love with Robert Henri’s book The Art Spirit and I’ll share more later, but for now, take a look at his beautiful painting of a young child…And then read what he writes about painting children.
I must win my way in with a child. He lives in a world that he has made, and in it there is no tying down to literal facts. Paint with respect for him. You can’t buy him. He is the great possibility, the independent individual. The child lives in his world. It is nothing to you, but it is just as big as yours.
Later, he describes the “tremendous activity of a boy sitting still.” One can see clearly in the painting (titled Rosaline, 1927) Henri’s great respect for the child’s world and his elegant capturing of the child’s “tremendous activity.” If we could all be so sensitive.