Sunday, January 17, 2010

Celebrating Art

I've always loved the following quote by Pablo Picasso:

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an
artist once we grow up.

Being able to express oneself freely is the basis for a society where individual differences are admired and revered. Art allows a person to tell his or her own story. Instilling this ideal into our children will enable them to create a future where art is accessible to everyone no matter their wealth, skin color or education.

Look! Look! Look! is written by two people with a passion for art education. Nancy Elizabeth Wallace and Linda K. Friedlaender (curator for the Yale Center for British Art)
create a wonderful celebration of art seen through the eyes of three adorable mice. Upon discovering a postcard in the people's house, they decide to borrow the postcard "just to look at it, just for a little while." The mice look at the postcard (Portrait of a Woman
by Robert Peake) from "top to bottom, side to side and bottom to top." They see patterns,
colors, lines and shapes and then they create with paper, scissors, and markers. Emmy delights in the discoveries of the mice. She immediately wanted to create her own artwork after the very first reading. She used pattern blocks to create a number of objects and then decided to cut out her own shapes and lay them out on paper in a variety of ways.

Emmy has quite a collection of art materials. Making them accessible to her at all times was a challenge that I was determined to solve. This is one way to keep art materials within arm's
reach. Emmy and I purchased a small lazy susan and placed the jelly jars that we cleaned and saved on top. Then we filled the jars with drawing materials such as markers, crayons, pens, colored pencils and "regular" pencils (as Emmy calls them) as well as
scissors, glue and a handheld pencil sharpener. We keep this collection on the sofa table along with a box that holds different colors and sizes of paper. We also have a cabinet in the office that has a shelf dedicated to art materials like the feathers shown on Emmy's piece of art to the right. Emmy uses either her small table and chairs or the coffee table to create these fabulous pieces of art.

Finding art all around you is an important concept to teach
children. Here is a wonderful resource that I recently came across showing how to use objects in nature to create art. Land Art for Kids was created by Richard Shilling and Julia Brooklyn who are known as Land Artists. Land Art involves making art and sculptures using materials you find in nature such as leaves, pine cones, twigs, pebbles, rocks, sand, and shells. To see wonderful creations of Land Art, check out the website Land Art for Kids.

An earlier post, For the Love of Art, has additional books and resources for creating art that may be of further interest.

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room
for the spirit. ~ John Updike

1 comment:

  1. Look! Look! Look! sounds great - I shall have to see if they have it in our library.