Lissa dia Loo. She's got Art Flowing Through in Her Veins

Updated: Jul 5, 2021

Always support your children's artistic passions, or whatever they are passionate about. You never know if there is a diamond under the rough.

The art projects that young children create, scribble and or paste together, are so sweet and charming. Some are so creative and full of colors. Most are what you might typically expect, depending on the child's age. It was that way for Lissa dia Loo too, except one day this started to change.

There was something a bit strange about the manner in which my little girl held a crayon, scribbled on paper, and paid attention to detail.

When she was a toddler, I thought that her drawings and creations, looked a bit too controlled, and a bit too fancy for a toddler to create. Even her stickman snowman that she created, at just 3 years old, looked a little bit odd to me, in the sense that it looked too realistic. The face looked too much like a real face, with eyes, a nose and a smile. Other details, like his bright red hat, and snow coming down in the background seemed to be a lot for toddler to be able to put into their artwork. I thought that most small children would perhaps be too impatient to sit and do all that. But when I shared my thoughts and concerns with family members, no one really understood what I was saying. They could not see what I was seeing.

Like most parents, I visited many Preschool events and loved seeing the art that kids create. I didn't really expect anything special other than warm feelings from enjoying the events and looking at the art. When Lissa Dia Loo (that's what I call her) was almost 5 years old, I noticed something strange about how she selected and blended colors. While attending such an event, I admired the art that the kids created. Most are what you may consider to be unconventional designs. I loved looking at the art that was posted on the walls down the corridor, in the elementary school. I of course admired the variety of the beautiful projects that the wonderful and patient teachers would post along the hallway wall. I would follow the drawings along the walls, into the Preschool classroom.

One particular day, I happened upon a usual experience. Parents were invited to a classroom party with treats and art on display. As I walked around the preschool classroom admiring the bird houses that the children decorated. I looked for my little Lissa's bird house. I could not find her name on any of them. I thought that perhaps she was absent the day the bird houses were created. I noticed there were quite a few that did not have a name of them. I noticed one that was likely made by the teacher and used as a sample for instructing the children on how they could paint their birdhouses. It was a so beautiful. It was a combination of pastel colors, so lovely, and soothing to look at. Even the netting that was added as a cover, seemed to be such a special effect.

I enjoyed the class party with my little Lissa. As the party was ending the teacher announced that that the children should get their things together and grab their bird houses. I felt a little sad and bad for Lissa, as I realized she may not have a bird house to grab off the table to bring home (thinking she may have been absent he day they created the bird houses) . I wondered how my little Lissa would react. Would she be cry? Would she be sad, or would she understand. I thought that I should quickly and quietly check with the teacher to see if one of the bird houses', with no name, was Lissa's . I waited until Lissa was distracted and not looking, and then I quietly asked the teacher. The teacher looked at me oddly, and said "yes, Lissa's bird house is on the table". I was relieved. No more worries, I said, "ok, Lissa which one is your's". She looked at me in disbelief, and asked in a funny manner, saying, "do you mean to tell me that you do not not know which one is mine?".

She laughed and ran to the other side of the room with a group of her little friends. I said of course I know. I went to the group of houses with no names on them. One by one the children where grabbing up the houses to take home. There were only 4 birdhouses left out of 15. Lissa came back to the table and said this is mine, "come on, grab it, and let's go!". She pointed to the birdhouse that I thought was painted by the teacher. Just to be sure, I asked the teacher which one of was Lissa's? The teacher confirmed by saying, that one is her's. I was shocked. I felt oddly strange, as if something out of the ordinary had occurred. It seemed impossible that a 5 year old could paint like that. I asked if the children got help in painting their houses. The teach said "no, they did it on their own."

It was a surreal experience. I stared at the birdhouse in disbelief. I just could not believe it. It was some sort of phenomenon. I carefully picked up the birdhouse, being careful not to damage it. I admired it, as if it was a precious work of art by someone like Picasso. I was lost in a fog of confusion, as if in a dream. I kept asking myself, how in the world could a Preschooler paint like this? I said to myself, that she must be an artist. Then I thought perhaps the teacher was being generous in her compliments regarding the children's work, and helped the kids a bit. I thought to myself, that an adult who is an artist, had to help her pick out the colors, and helped the kids to apply the paint, may be a little bit. To be sure, if she was a gifted artist, I vowed to monitor the art projects that she created and those she brought home from school.

When we arrived home, I showed everyone the birdhouse. Most did not respond in the manner in which I did when I first saw the combination of the colors. They did not get excited about her ability to select and blend certain colors. They also did not think that Lissa had really painted it on her own. Some thought that perhaps it was possible, but it was more likely that she got a little bit of help from the teacher. But I was there at the school, and I asked the teacher myself. And the teacher was matter of fact about. I believe the teacher was being honest. I raved about it to my family, knowing that as a preschooler, she was proving to me that she was an artist. Others did not think so. They just thought that she painted and created the way mosts kids paint. I disagreed. I decided to just wait and watch.

As her art projects came home from school, I analyzed them, and I saved them. I knew she was a gifted artist. One day she brought home a painting that she called the Blossoming Tree. Something the teacher had all the kids paint. I loved the painting. There was something about the colors, and I tried to imagine how her little hands created the crooked branches and round blossoms. It spoke to me. I didn't know why but I had such a connection to that painting. I did not know why I was so fascinated by it. Perhaps because she was born with a vision impairment and was at risk of going blind. She has had a lot of challenges with her vision, yet at such a young age, I find her drawings and paintings to be beautiful works of art. Almost as if it is a miracle, that although she has a vision impairment, she is somehow a talented artist. And she wasn't even in the 1st grade yet. I decided to hang her Blossoming Tree painting on the inside of our fro