The fresh approach is an artistic will-o'-the-wisp that some professional painters chase all their lives without much success.
Last week, at Boston's Museum of Fine Art, gallerygoers got a look at the work of 125 amateurs who had caught the elusive quality without half trying. The paintings were by children, aged 6 to 14, from the city's Boys' Clubs.
No one called it great art, but the youngsters were bubbling with originality.
Flailing gleefully away, they pictured drab city blocks as tumbled lines of bulging, squeezed-in houses, and landscapes as great, uncluttered spaces dotted with trees and Indian tepees. Their figures were frightening and...