Yesterday, Helena did some drawing. Usually, it's just line and colour — a study in formalism. This time, I asked her what it was she was drawing a picture of. She thought a minute, decided "Doggy," and added a few strokes as it to solidify the representation.
Really, it's a dog.
When prompted, she pointed out the tail, nose, and toes. If you squint you can kind of see it. That's a dog alright, its tail wagging up on the left, blobby mass of head to the right.
This morning, I conducted a little science experiment. I asked her about the picture. It's still a doggy, its tail, nose, and toes still in the same places.
Does she clearly "see" doggy in her handiwork? Or does she "merely" remember having proclaimed it a dog and want to stick by her story?
When artists paint with a "child-like naivete," do they physically behold the world differently? — Not filling in the blanks, as it were, as the rest of us are accustomed to doing to give continuity to our surroundings; nor grasping for details to help attribute meaning. The world is beheld just for a moment as it is.