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Posts Tagged ‘art’

nov 4 2008 005

None of my kids are particularly artistic. This is a picture that Tee crayoned when he was about six, or maybe even seven (on what I’m guessing must have been a gloomy day). Note the lack of detail, the wing-like hands extending directly from the trunk, and the missing facial features.

That being said, I don’t think that many people are born artists.

Outside of the few people who do seem born with natural drawing talent, I think that most of us get good at drawing or painting in the way that we get good at other things. By practicing. Kids who are interested in drawing do it more than kids who aren’t, and they get better and better at it. They’ll be the ones that are more likely to take art classes, and they’ll get better still, which will spur them on to practice even more. A lovely positively reinforcing circle which leads to artistic skill.

When the kids were homeschooling, I used Drawing With Children to teach them a bit about art. I was surprised at how quickly their drawing improved, even with just a few small pointers. Once the lessons stopped, their drawing skills stagnated, and they didn’t progress much at all, but the experience cemented my belief that if there’s something you want to do, just go ahead and give it a try, even if you don’t think you’re going to be good at it.

Almost anything can be learned.

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Unintentional Art

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I was watching the kids fooling around with the life-saving dummy at the pool, and started taking photos of them. This one really caught my attention because of it’s arty strangeness. There’s the symmetry of the bodies, the lack of any faces, and the odd pose. Also, the foot and arm reaching toward each other. I couldn’t have set it up better if I’d tried.

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This was the next second. Much less spooky.

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Isn’t that a cute little beaver? The creature in the background is a moose.

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Symmetry

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This is a fun art idea.

Cut a black and white picture in half, and glue to a page. Try to draw the other half. L did this cat for homework last night. I think I’ll try it with the Littles.

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Color Mixing

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The kids have been playing the Rays of Light game with an intensity bordering on obsession, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon, and seize the opportunity to cement their knowledge of primary and secondary colors.

I mixed up three jars of water and food coloring (red, blue, and yellow) and set three empty jars down between them. Then I gave the kids syringes and told them to make orange, green and purple. I gave them exact instructions, and then had them color in a photocopied color-mixing chart to demonstrate their knowledge. All well and good, but not exactly the thrill a minute I was hoping for.

Once the (“learning”) mission was accomplished, I set them loose with the colors and syringes. THEN the fun started. And, most likely, the learning. Guess what color I made? Look what happens when you mix all three colors! etc,etc. Will I never learn?

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Capitilizing yet further on the excitement, I whipped up a batch of homemade playdoh, which I haven’t done since they were tots, and colored one blob blue, one blob yellow, and one blob red. Sorta, kinda, because they came out more pastelly than I would have liked, but the kids still had fun making all of the colors they could. Including “skin color”. It was creepily realistic. Remember when crayons had a skin color? Before someone realized that skin came in many colors?

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I think today was a good example of my role as an unschooling guide. Observing the natural interest, and thinking up good ideas to stretch out the learning. Giving the kids materials, and letting them experiment. Letting go of my expectations for outcome. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

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Kids’ Art /Learning Curve I

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