I saw a great exhibit at MoMA today called Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914. It focuses on Pablo Picasso's many paintings, drawings and collages of guitars and violins. My favorite pieces in the show are the cardboard and paper and the sheet metal constructions of the instruments. When he first made them, no one had seen art works made from such humble materials before, and people questioned whether they were sculptures or paintings. Picasso answered, "They're just GUITARS!"
Some of Picasso's constructions and paintings reminded me of a project I did last year with elementary art students. First, I asked the children to draw a violin from careful observation. Then I gave them a wide range of materials (watercolors, oil pastels, cardboard, yarn, wire, colored papers, etc.) to add imaginary or realistic color to their drawings. I named the project, "Various Violins," because, as you can see from the photographs, the variety of interpretations was huge - which was exactly the point of the assignment. It showed kids that although each artist started out drawing the same violin, there were endless ways to interpret it, and each way was valuable.
Think about doing a painting or drawing of a musical instrument, maybe one that you play, and try adding imaginary colors or three-dimensional collage elements (yarn, buttons, cardboard) to make your drawing original. Remember, there are many ways to create a work of art. No matter what age you are, as an artist you must find your own unique way to create. I highly recommend the Picasso exhibition at MoMA as a fun family outing. It will inspire you!