When Ryan and Raniece Dalton finally got a chance to move out of their Brooklyn, New York rental apartment and into their very own home in Alabama, they were looking forward to enjoying a “slower pace” of life.
What they didn’t realize was that the resulting move would help them discover a hidden artistic streak in their youngest family member.
Maya is only 16 months old, and she’s a pretty normal toddler in most ways. Yet when Ryan and Raniece told their oldest daughter that she could make some paintings for her new bedroom, the little girl astounded them with a raw, untapped artistic talent that nobody saw coming.
“I like her to explore and be free,” Ryan explained. He was eager to let Maya express herself in her new bedroom, because when they were renting they never felt they could fully make their home their own. “I wanted her to take part in decorating her space,” he said.
Aside from a brief trip to a children’s museum, Maya had never even held a paintbrush before. But as soon as Ryan placed the paint bowls before her, she dove right in!
While you might expect a child this young to be a messy painter, Ryan says his daughter was “very particular” about her work. “It was all really interesting to watch her experiment and explore and just have fun,” he said.’
As Maya swirled her brush into different paints, creating her own custom colors, Ryan began to see the beginning of a real piece of art emerging on the canvas. Her style can only be described as “abstract,” but the bright shapes and patterns bring to mind artists like Picasso and O’Keefe.
Maya’s artwork now decorates the walls of her very own room in the family’s new house. Ryan says that Maya always recognizes her paintings, smiling and pointing at them whenever she sees them. “She knows she was a part of it and created it,” said the proud dad.
Just to prove that Maya’s first painting wasn’t a fluke, her parents had her make a second painting on a black canvas. The resulting painting was almost more incredible than the first.
This toddler is a better artist than we are, and that’s okay! Our only question is how do we get our hands on an original Maya Dalton? Something tells us this is just the beginning for this natural talent.