I've been thinking about tiny marshmallows lately. My daughter has come to neeeed tiny marshmallows as part of her painting projects. She leaves them to soak in water overnight, then uses them to "erase" her marker drawings in the morning. She asks for fresh new marshmallows, which she carefully paints one by one. They are marking tools, erasers, sculptural objects, shriveling and melting into the surface of the paper. I've always enjoyed how closely tangled erasing and marking are. Removing pigment from paper leaves streaked paths, recording the gesture of elbow grease.
My daughter has a lot of questions and strong opinions about what qualifies as an eraser, vehemently challenging conventional understanding. "This is my eraser" she states, as she holds her wafer-like, melted-amalgam-of-a-crayon in her hand. In this instance, she's less concerned with the job of the object, and more concerned with the shape, color, and material. She's come to understand that small, somewhat flat, colorful shapes are often erasers. I had quite a collection of these myself when I was a kid. (I still may have a few. It's a significantly reduced collection since my friend Sarah's smelly-eraser intervention of '95)
All this thinking about tiny marshmallows and erasers started when I was working on a guest post for Mutha Magazine. Their magazine has been a place of respite, challenge, and inspiration for me and I'm excited to be able to connect with their readers.