I call her my budding artist as I am watching a small seedling emerge through the soil into a beautiful, creative flower (in human form, of course). My youngest is at the age, where many school children now start comparing their art work with other students’ work. They are determining if it’s realistic enough, good enough and many come to the conclusion, they cannot do art. My daughter doesn’t have this issue.
One of the approaches I learned, while taking an educational art course for children, was process art. This is art where the child(ren) are given basic instructions and materials and are free to discover the art on their own. Many schools prefer product art so there is supposed to be a recognizable product when all is said and done.
I prefer to watch my daughter discover art in a variety of mediums. Whether she uses crayons, markers, clay, or paints, she is free to develop her art as she works with her tools. I don’t ever want her judging herself against others. She is creating according to her vision, not someone else’s. As much as the educational art class scared me, I am grateful for having taken it. I know how to encourage my child and truly watch her. Seeing her discoveries, as she makes them, is priceless. I observed her for an hour with her art. I could have been doing dishes, working on lesson plans, or having time to myself. Yet, that hour showed me what I had been missing; the discovery process.
The artwork you are seeing are tonight’s creations. After each one was completed, my daughter immediately named them. Actually, each name was very fitting to the painting she assigned it to. I sent the work to my friend, who’s a professional artist, and we agreed one of them stood out above the rest. I cannot wait to see the next set of creations she comes up. This year I have started a photo journal of her work. At the end of the school year, I will burn CDs in order to record all her work. I want to keep these memories.