Last night I watched the documentary My Kid Could Paint That.
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, the documentary follows little Marla Olmstead through success with her art work and through attacks that other people - namely, her father - did more than just get the paints out for her.
I think I would find the documentary troubling if the parents were livin' large off the bucks Marla has brought in.
But they seemed to be a nice normal family living in a normal house. They weren't out spending the money. Reportedly, it has gone into Marla's college fund.
I think the one mistake the parents made was allowing people to do so many articles and tv shows about her. Their lives would have been much easier if the people who showed and sold her work at their galleries had simply said, This is a wonderful local artist.
But of course, when she was successful, then people would have been going nuts to find out who Marla was.
I think when someone is successful, especially if that someone is a child, a lot of jealousy will crop up and the dream-stealers will come along in full force saying, That's baaaad. She's not doing that herself. She can't really paint.
If her dad gave her some direction, so what? Everything is derivative. And schools today go overboard forcing children to work in groups because supposedly Business says that public school graduates don't know how to work together. Let's support some possible team work between dad and daughter - although Mark Olmstead's paintings look absolutely nothing like Marla's. (A friend once told me that the one thing her daughter learned from working in a group was that she didn't want to work in a group.)
I wish I had been smart enough to give my kids some nice big canvases and plenty of paint and said Go for it. Be as a big and creative and colorful as you want.
What a lovely way to look at art and colors and childhood.