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of stuff, and sun, and art, and kids, and my sharpie marker

Thu July 29 2010

we don’t live in a big space, but we have a lot of stuff crammed into it.  i get teased with the “H” word, but it’s absolutely not true.  well, i like books, that’s true.  maybe i collect them, maybe i do hoard them. and i  keep bringing more home from the library. but in any case, i notice that most of our stuff fits into four primary categories: kids stuff; books; art stuff; sports equipment. this was especially noticable when i was packing our house to move.  boxes and boxes and boxes of just-books, and just-art-supplies. unruly packages of snowshoes, fishing rods, baseball bats, scoops, frisbees, skipping ropes, three sets of golf clubs (papa bear, mama bear and sister bear), and more. the first three categories of stuff really go together to me.  so, i happened to find these really great KIDs ART BOOKS at the library. like, really great. and i have, and have read, tons of this particular genre. {i should make a recommendation list! hey great idea}

what i think is missing from all these really great kids’ art books, says the teacher in me, is some way to encourage and help parents talk to their kids as they make the things, to facilitate art-talk, if you will.  so not only are they learning the making, the medium and the skill, but they are also having mini-lessons in the most casual and fun way all about really what the specific elements and principles of design are that are at work in that project.  this knowledge and talk does not come easily to everyone, although most parents can easily follow art-idea/project instructions. but, i digress.

so i brought the book home and stickynoted the ideas i thought sounded like the most fun: meet The Jumbo Book of Outdoor Art by the Avenue Road Arts School in Toronto, Ontario:

“we” (admittedly a very loose application of the word in this instance) went about our first project in a somewhat typical haphazard fashion: on our way out the door the other day to somewhere else, i grabbed some construction paper and grabbed the girls and we went about the plopping of stones and broken shells and bark mulch on top of the construction paper and left them in the bright, hot, Pacific Northwest sunshine to do the work for us.  yes, we are making sun prints!

that above are the girls’ sheets after the bleaching of the sun.  what’s left in the original construction paper colour are the shapes of the stones. turkey has very typically for her lined her stones up in an orderly fashion and then plopped some on in a random fashion afterwards. bug lined some up similarly, but the upper portion of her paper was arranged into a smiley face.

now, here i admit this is as far as the kids have gotten so far, but i was seized by the doodly desire the other night and went ahead with mine. first i used my sharpie marker and used the dark un-sunned spots as inspiration for shapes and structures and doodled over them and around them.  so, the blotches left by two broken shell halves and a stone in between became a bird:

the other dark shapes became trunks of trees, sticks at the side of a stream and some standing stones (after too much googling of standing stones and stone circles recently, ha). not happy with all the negative space, i filled that in with doodles related to my birdie, and a conversation with my eight year old on my mind as well.  then i saw fit to do some colouring and scribbling with some oil pastels  – they were the most handy thing at that moment.  i’m not claiming that this is awesome talent to show the world, but i will say for sure, it was a very satisfying process. i’d like to try again with the kids and be more mindful of what materials to use to make what sorts of shapes, and then explore what to make out of them afterwards. although plopping and seeing what turns up also has great appeal to me 😉

so, what new art play can you try with your kids today??!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fri July 30 2010 3:12 am

    Educate children and granulation colors to them is the responsibility of all of us.
    Thanks for this useful post 🙂

  2. happyhooligans permalink
    Mon August 15 2011 12:06 pm

    Love the idea of making sun prints on construction paper! We’ll have to try that here. 🙂

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