I'm not sure exactly when it happened but somewhere over the past few months, Mazzy stopped scribbling and started drawing faces.

WARNING: If you don't want to hear a parent brag unashamedly about their child, I advise you to STOP READING NOW. I'm not comfortable throwing words like "artistic prodigy" around (that would make me into one of those pretentious moms that can't recognize their own child's limitations), but I believe CREATIVE GENIUS is entirely appropriate.

First, Mazzy became obsessed with drawing circles. Soon after, she realized large circles were heads and small circles were eyes and even smaller circles were eyeballs. Then, she started studying the finer details of ears, eyebrows and nosehairs.

Before I knew it, Mazzy had produced her first artistic series, which I have deemed the "Portrait Collection". 

Here is the earliest known piece in the series, created on June 29, 2012. It is entitled "PORTRAIT OF MOM"


Notice the grim face, the bad hair and the feeling of being perpetually strangled. This is no ordinary work of art by a toddler, but instead a social commentary on motherhood in general, that is somehow both profoundly deep yet also plays to the masses.

The second piece in the series is called "PAPA, CAN YOU HEAR ME?":


Notice the large nostril, the scruff on the chin and most importantly— the detached ear. I believe this is a toddler's cry for paternal attention. Perhaps, to represent the early morning when day after day, only her mother answers her 6am wake-up calls. "Don't both parents possess the ability to get out of bed?" she wonders. A thought-provoking question, indeed.

Next we have "SELF-PORTRAIT":


You'll see that the shaky legs and arms perfectly depict the unsteady stance of a toddler caught between the infantile stage and the progression to full-on child. The third eye reflects how children see everything even though parents think they cannot understand. The large circle between the legs shows the internal struggle of a two-year-old trying to come to terms with the last inevitable toddler milestone— potty training.

The fourth piece is my favorite and simply entitled "LOVE":


Is it a man and wife? A newfound friendship? A political statement about the freedom to love whomever we choose? The ambiguity of the couple is what adds to the overall complexity of the piece. 

And for the artist's final portrait, we have "UNTITLED":


When Mazzy showed me this drawing, I naively believed it to be unfinished and asked who it was going to be. Is that Grammy? Poppy? Aunt Ya-Ya's dog, perhaps?

She looked at me, as if internalizing my critical and cultural limitations for the first time.

"No," she said evenly. "It's a rock with eyes."

Of course! Another masterpiece!

You know, Picasso was a toddler once, too.