HAPPY FRIDAY!! FINE MOTOR FUN! FINE ARTS FESTIVAL!!!
I'm so excited. Like a little one on birthday's eve. The party is about to get started!! My favorite week of the year for 'bucket-of-the-soul-filling' is about to unfurl. We are poised on the edge of our haven home's Plein Air Festival. My photo above is of a professional palette from last year's Arts excursion.
I was so thrilled to see a similar array of color awaiting eager exploration in an elementary school's Art room. COLOR! All of that color! To me it's a neon invitation. The color beckons, "show me what you've got." Let's begin.
I look at these boxes of pastels and see quilts. I see geometry in motion. I'm reminded of train cars at the station: organized and waiting movement. I see fields undulating out the airplane window, golden wheat juxta-posed against wooded glen. Do you feel the line about to walk across the page?
All these wonderful little rectangles of color above reminded me of a glorious 'class book' I captured during one of my Author Illustrator school visits to a preschool setting this past spring. Rectangles of color larking about, to begin the representational process. Rectangles of color viewed through the prism of geometry as architecture. LUV it!
These images are from a visit to a site serving children with special needs and their typically developing peers. Take a look below at the neighborhood "McDonalds" through two different perspectives.
The first child, in addition to the fine motor exercise of cutting and gluing is ready and EAGER to explore the neighborhood by drawing in both the landscape features and people. I marvel at the fine motor development for name writing and labeling in comparison to their people-of-stickness.
Now compare the work of the child who is writing their name, labeling their picture, drawing people and components with the work of a peer exploring the shapes and colors of the class project within their level of capability. Both McDonalds. Each unique. Each honored. Each a celebration!
What I LUV LUV LUV about seeing these completed books, is that obviously the staff 'BELIEVES' in allowing the students to be independent in their work. No adult has come through to *fix* windows and create balance and symmetry. The children's actual 'work' is celebrated through publishing!
[Last winter I opened up a can-of-worms about teachers who feel the need and even the 'expectation' to send home 'perfect' children's work -- even if the adult is the one tinkering about in the wet glue to get things straightened out. Click here to see what all the fuss was about.]
The book resides on the class bookshelf and can be revisited over and over again! YEAH AUTHORS!! YEAH ILLUSTRATORS!!
Delightful rectangles of medium.... to rectangles as the component for the making of Art. Opportunity. Simplicity. Basics. Common denominators. Tell me about your world. Tell me about your neighborhood. Show me what you know. Buildings have doors. Building have windows. Buildings are full of rectangles!
As adults we provide the materials and we direct the effort, but we allow the child to explore the theme within their level of expertise and capability. I can promise you that whenever artwork is 'framed' (or matted) or bound into a book format, there is a clear message being transmitted. Your effort is worth being acknowledged. Your energy is worthy of display. Your work is to be shared. YEAH hard work. Yeah making choices. Hurrah for ART!
At the opposite end of the spectrum of the save-it- forever mindset we have art-of-the-ephemeral. SIDEWALK chalk! It's very nature says, don't worry about the details -- this is meant to be of the moment. This is meant to be about bold strokes and the immediacy of making a big splash in the now.
Summer is the perfect opportunity for family jaunts into creativity. Lazy days with lots of bright sunshine afford the invitation to explore. What happens when you move your sidewalk chalk from decorating the driveway to the three dimensional nature of rocks?
All of this exploration is the necessary foundation and may just lead to pastels making masterpieces.... indulge in creative play in the great outdoors. Make a memory.