|Love Of The Child For Drawing.|
Whether or not one is going to make pictures that will stir the heart with dreams of beauty, and live when the hand that created them is dust, it is exceedingly desirable from a utilitarian point of view, that one should be led to look carefully and see clearly, leaving imagination out of the question. A drawing is but a report of what one sees, hand and eye working together; if one can execute it, so much the better; but if that is not to be, even the verbal report will be the more accurate for any such early training as may have been given the eye. Just as a matter of business the advantage of the instruction is easily seen; the traveler, whose eye has been early taught its functions and who would write the story of his sight-seeing, needing no other hand than his own to illustrate his work, doubles his profits; and if unable to do so much as that, is yet able to write with a sharpness of outlines that bites into the memory, while the report of the traveler who sees all things but vaguely and pleasantly is blurred and forgotten; and so of the mechanician who needs no duller brain with apter fingers to stand between him and the model of his machine, and is able to sketch his own ideas as they come to him; of the naturalist whose specimens can not evade his pencil and vanish altogether, and of countless others. Thus in the light of the relations of money-getting, of science, of convenience, apart from any considerations of a possible genius to be developed, of a talent not to be wrapped in a napkin, it were well to give every child instruction in the art of drawing, encouragement to his endeavors, and praise to his success; not that unjust and indiscriminate praise which, not being deserved, makes a fool of one, but that praise which obligates a person to live up to its standard, remembering that while if the talent really exists, it is there for a purpose and to be fostered toward an end, and that, not existing, it would be a forgery upon nature to pretend that it was there. By Harriet Prescott Spofford.