Guild to display work from creative prodigies, the Hayes sisters

Sprawled on the ground, child artists Mimi and Annabelle Hayes paint pink and blue arcs on their canvases — their hands and cheeks stained and eyes sparkling.

After they finish this painting, Mimi will sign with her name — which she had changed from Madeline when she was 18 months old — and Annabelle will use her thumbprint as her de facto signature.

At the ages of 4 and 2, Mimi and Annabelle are excited to welcome viewers to their first show, at the Bedlam exhibition running throughout April at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists.

“I’m really proud and impressed by how a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old can just sit down and create something that is so abstract,” said Kaitlyn Hayes, the girls’ mother. “If I wanted to try to do it, I couldn’t, and it’s one of the reasons why I do not get involved in their art. It’s just for them, and I don’t know if it’s the child’s brain or the artist’s brain, but there is a level of curiosity that they have that I don’t. I have a lot of respect for their creativity.”

Kaitlyn said that when her daughters want to paint she’s relegated to one simple duty: get the materials out.

“Whenever they want to paint, they can paint, and whenever the painting is done, it’s done,” she said. “When they feel creative, they express themselves, and they don’t force it. I think that’s really neat. Having a little place for them to go and express themselves is amazing for their development.”

Go your own way

The two children share different personalities, but work well together.

“Mimi likes you to do things for her, and Annabelle likes you to do things with her,” Kaitlyn said. “Mimi can’t stand still to do her hair, personal appearance is not as important to Mimi, but Annabelle always wants to wear a dress and have her hair fixed.”

Kaitlyn had given Mimi and Annabelle drawing supplies to occupy themselves while she cleaned the house last December.

“When they showed their drawing to me, I thought it was so interesting. It was then that I realized I may have two little artists on my hands.”

Momentum

Mimi’s and Annabelle’s works gained support when their mother posted pictures on social media.

“At first I didn’t think much of it. It was when someone mentioned a little girl named Aelita who started painting at 9 months old, and when I looked at her things, they looked similar to the things that Mimi and Annabelle do,” Kaitlyn said.

Mimi’s and Annabelle’s pieces usually take around two weeks to complete.

They have finished more than 20 pieces and many more sketches.

“The process of creating the art is very spontaneous. How is starts out is rarely how it looks when it’s done,” Kaitlyn said.

“I have no idea where it’ll go,” she added. “It’ll be interesting to see how they grow when they get older and can attend workshops and learn technique. If one day they say they don’t like painting anymore, that’ll be fine. It’s just a way for them to have fun together and be creative and expressive.”