Collaboration with my Child-Person

Art, Teaching

My daughter loves to paint and so we have been exploring watercolor for a few weeks. A few days in, I started seeing things in her work and decided to draw out a few.


  • I must preserve M’s chosen orientation of the paper
  • I get one shot, so I don’t use up all of her paintings and send her the message that her work is no good
  • I get 3 minutes, although I think I can keep it at 2  30 seconds, maybe 1 minute
  • My work cannot overshadow hers: it must be equal in terms of effort and coverage (I did that a couple times and it made me sad)
  • For her third birthday, I will give her the option of drawing on my paintings so we both have the same opportunities
  • We plan some of the images, depending on M’s interest. If she does not have a preference, I get to do whatever I want.

I have upgraded us to watercolor paper and better paints and have started scanning these for a later collection of some sort, maybe a book for M when she is much older.

EDIT 121115: Madelene has started to give me specific paintings, with directives!

I am also starting to give Madelene some of my paintings to draw on, will post them here.

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Libby Clarke is an artist, designer, and educator living in Maplewood, NJ. She received her BFA in Printmaking from James Madison University and her MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Professionally, Libby has worked as an interaction art director for over 15 years for such companies as and She was an Assistant Professor at the New York College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York. She also served as the Director of the Studio School of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. As an artist, Libby has produced a series of multi-media conceptual products under the name Monstress Productions since 1996. She gives workshops and lectures across the United States on the intersection of art, activism, and technology, and her pieces are exhibited and collected internationally.