Creating opportunities for process-driven art doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, something as simple as putting out some blank sheets of paper and a tub of markers can lead to hours of creative fun.
This morning my girls decided they were in the mood to do some art. Big Sis grabbed some paper from the drawer and the tub of markers from the cupboard and got it all set up for her and Lil Sis. While I cleaned the kitchen and got some work done I listened to them talk and giggle as they worked away at their drawings. I love to sit and listen to their little imaginations at work. They told stories as they worked on their drawings together, inspiring each other and encouraging one another as they went. Here’s a glimpse of how it went.
Big Sis started off by drawing her and Lil Sis walking through a park together full of trees. Lil Sis was drawing the zoo and chattering about all the animals in her picture. She wanted some people in her drawing too and asked for some help, so Big Sis drew the two of them in her zoo picture and then talked her through the steps as Lil Sis drew one for herself. The mouth looked a little sad, so she added ‘tears’ and decided it was Daddy and he was crying because he wanted to open a Christmas present. They then started colouring in snow all over everything and made dots all over the page which were snow, and then turned into stars in the night sky. And on and on it went.
“How you think of my picture (Lil Sis)?”
“Wow! It’s aweshom!”
Mom, look at (Lil Sis’s) picture! She is doing such a great job!”
My heart just sings as I listen to them create together. And all it took was some markers and a few sheets of blank paper.
The first time you offer your kids an open-ended or process-driven art experience, it may not seem very successful, or even last very long, but I have found that the more opportunities my girls have had to explore and create, the easier and more “successful” these times have become. It doesn’t take much anymore for them to dive into their imaginations and dig into new materials. They no longer depend solely on me to help them discover new ideas. There’s no more hesitation or uncertainty, they just go for it! When there’s no “right” or “wrong” there’s no fear of making a mistake to hold them back.
If you have not tried process-focused art with your children yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Start by swapping out blank sheets of paper for their colouring books and see what happens. Have your kids been waiting for the opportunity to create without limits? Or do they get stuck before they even get started? I’d love to hear what process-focused art looks like in your home and if you are just starting out, how is it going?
Once the glue outline was completely dry I set out a sheet of hearts for each of my girls along with some paint brushes and liquid watercolours. You could also use watercolour paint pods that you buy in trays to create the same effect. This time I used the liquid watercolours because I wanted to specifically set out pinks and reds for Valentine's Day. I gave them 3 colours to paint with mixing our watercolours with a bit of water to give them a softer feel. Once they were dry we cut out our hearts which we will add to our valentine cards in the next few weeks!