Friday, September 24, 2010

Peter Pan was right.....don't grow up

Once in awhile you come across something that makes you think and smile at the same time. Like this:

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?" ~Howard Ikemoto"

The Pirate Bunny by Ben age 6

 Yes grown ups forget many things. Like how to look at the world through the eyes of a child. At least three or four times a week I get an adult in the studio asking me if I teach lessons to adults. My answer is always no. I used to work with adults but I just can't do it anymore. Adults are so wrapped up in all that grown up baggage that they are very difficult for me to work with.  Many adults go through their adult life with blinders on-too busy to stop and notice little things like the color of the sky as the sun is setting on a winter day. Or how brilliantly red a cluster of tulips can be on a sunny day in spring.
Too often I hear a child show a grown up their latest drawing and the adult says "That's wonderful! What is it?"  Art doesn't always have to be something you recognize right away. You want total realism take a photograph. Art should make you think. Art should connect on so many levels with you. Even art done by a child. So the next time a young person comes up to you to proudly show you what they have drawn. Please, take a moment and really look at it. Give it some thought instead of an absent minded "....that's very nice" and say something constructive and real about it.  You might miss a delightful drawing of a  "Pirate Bunny"!

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."  Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I will not let a bunch of 6 year olds get the best of me...

...not today anyway. So I mis-read this group of kids but then it's hard to get a handle on 6 year olds right away. Last week it was like herding cats. This group runs towards the silly. They like to tell stories while they work.

I spent most of yesterday trying to figure out a way to connect with all 9 of these highly creative kids. Last week one of the girls started talking about monsters. She wove this wonderful, magical story about this monster she was drawing.  He was a friendly monster with these big bug eyes. That got me to thinking....

monsters from make your own monster
 Today we are going to make monsters. We are going to use my super cool construction paper crayons on black paper and draw a monster.  You see I saw this wonderful website where kid's illustrations were turned into a plush stuffed creature. The cost was $250! But the "plushies" or "stuffies" as they are called were wonderful- it made me want some of my own. 

Zombie Katz by Laura

I like to sew and I make  "stuffies".  Those are my "Zombie Katz" on the right. I think I am going to surprise my students by creating a stuffie for each one of them from the picture they draw.  I came up with a list of questions to ask my students about their monster before they draw them. After they are done with their drawing I am going to interview each child and ask them about their monster. This could work out wonderfully OR it could result in barely controlled chaos. Either way I think it'll be a lot of fun and the creative juices should be flooding across the room!