Although my memory was not quite on with all the details, you'll see I gave a pretty good description of Owen's class art project.
Jeremy actually had the chance to talk with Owen's art teacher about this painting the other day. She handed Jeremy this painting from off her desk (I wonder why it wasn't hung up on the wall with the others?) She said how Owen had asked her if his birds could be in a pile. She told him that as long as you could still see the birds and tell that they were birds he could.
If you look closely you can see the five individual birds with all the right parts. Jeremy --who's apparently a better art critic than I am-- pointed out how there's a blanket of snow that has collected on top of the branch and the birds. Looking at the wall of pictures there was only one or two other kids that made that connection--that snow falling leads to snow accumulation. So obviously Owen was thinking about it--not just following directions. He pointed out the top bird to me and said "He's about to fall down."
As much as I would love to see (and would probably be inclined to make myself) a cute painting expertly mimicking the teacher's example with five fat little cardinals perched on a branch--I can't help but appreciate the big red blob a bit more and hope that we don't prematurely stifle of Owen's original thinking just for the sake of "fitting in."