Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Toddler Art

Phew... finally found the camera cord!  It was questionable for a few days there as to whether or not Elliot might have thrown it away.  Alas, it was just buried in one of those piles that grow and grow in the corners of our home and eat up all of our little things that we seem to not be able to live without--or at least blog without.  So now that I'm back, here' s a little look into what we've been doing.

I'm so excited because Elliot's really into art exploration right now.  The other day I said to him, "let's do some painting."  And he went straight to the kitchen, got out one of his new smocks, and brought it to me.  I didn't even know he knew what those were for yet!  And today I asked him, "what would you like to do before lunch?"  And he said he wanted to paint!  Oh happy happy Mumma!

Over time, we've moved from drawing with markers and crayons to painting with acrylic paint onto pine cones (thanks for the beautiful idea, A!).  Then we moved onto painting right on the table top and making prints of it by rubbing a piece of paper onto the painted surface, then pulling it back to reveal the print it makes.
Then we were exploring with wet chalk.  Great big chunky chalk is a wonderful medium when it's dipped in water and drawn or painted with on paper.  This project really works best on thick water color paper (which can be spendy--so I like to take my 50% off one item coupon to the big-box craft store and buy my good art paper that way.  This makes big rolls of easel paper more affordable, too).  But back to the wet chalk--it turns into more of a water color medium, but you can draw with it too.  And if the chalk is really saturated and gets banged over and over on the paper (as toddler artists are likely to do) it comes off in great gooey heaps and adds texture to the painting.  It's great, too, because I can set one picture aside to dry for a day or two then give it back (taping it down so that it doesn't slide around) and Elliot's wet fingers and new colors of chalk completely transform the picture into a whole new piece of art (again, it really takes thick water color paper can stand up to this).And now the easel has migrated inside and Elliot is exploring with his first easel painting.  I found an inexpensive set of regular Crayola washable paint and I took our smallest little tupperware containers and cut a hole in the top of each to help hold the paintbrushes upright and detract some from the sticking-of-hands into the paint cups.  Not that it's not okay to get good and painty when exploring at the easel, but it also helps guide this new process of this new form of art.
So, yes.  I am loving Elliot's interest in art.  It does bring with it more messes and more times to have to say "no" and, sometimes, more tantrums.  But my excitement to bring these experiences to him, and his interest and delight in doing them, make it all so very worth it.  


Sara said...

These make me SOOO happy!

amuma Deb said...

His concentration is amazing. I'd love to put one of his painting in my office at work. I love his colors and designs. Who does painting in the family?

The Big Love and other stories... said...

Hey Malia,
I've told you about my friend Jean's blog, right? Well, on the subject of toddler art, I wanted to send the link to you again, just in case I haven't yet...