Art on a rainy May morning

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a morning spent playing with colourWhat better thing to do on a wet, rainy, grey day than bring some colour into our lives?

Little Miss Green loves anything to do with art. Unfortunately, my ‘art’ extends to stick figures on a good day. Yet art is something I’ve always had a secret wish I was good at. During my childhood, I had it instilled in me that academic subjects were the only ones worth bothering with, so my enthusiasm was quashed and I never had chance to explore.

Fast forward thirty something years and fears of ridicule stop me from even having a go. That’s sad isn’t it? In a recent experiment a teacher asked a class of first year kids who could draw. Every child put up their hand. He asked the same question to a class of 15 year olds and you can guess the outcome. Only 4 put their hands up……….

I’m sure we are all born artists, just as we are all born writers, healers, climbers, and creative. I figured it was my own self confidence and inner critics that stopped me drawing now. My fears of ridicule stopped me and I decided to put all that to one side and allow myself to be vulnerable.

Having a child is a great excuse to let all that old programming go and just P-L-A-Y!

Every child will bring you a piece of paper with garish poster paint splashed all over it. They’ll be grinning from ear to ear and unable to stop their excitement and joy. They are an artist and they know it.
my first attempt at abstract art
So, I’ve decided to let my inner child out to play too and having a 7 year old companion to pass the time with is an added bonus.

This morning we decided to have a go at abstract art and what a lot I have learned! I’m going to share the inspiration I found as well as the way in which I told Little Miss Green about the art in case it is useful to any home educators out there. It was a beautiful time we spent together. The rain was hammering down outside and we were cosy inside with our beautiful and vibrant oil pastels, creating art, memories and mess!

I’m a total novice, so please, if anyone is reading who can give me some better information for a 7 year old, do post a comment……

I explained Abstract art as follows:

Abstract art is using colour for fun without worrying whether it looks real or not!

You do not have to show people, places or animals exactly as they look. You can use colour and shape to show emotions or give a ‘feel’ of something (Little Miss green is very kinesthetic, so you might need to change the feel and emotions part for something that speaks your child’s language).

Little Miss Green’s gorgeous colourful abstract artSome abstract art, called non-objective art, does not show specific objects at all. It is made up of lines, circles or swirls…….

Famous Abstract artists include

Sonia Delaunay – great for exploring circles
Jackson Pollock – great for exploring ‘splashes’
Piet Mondrian – great for exploring straight lines and squares with minimal colour

For older children you could go on to talk much more about the artists and their history. We kept it low key though and didn’t get bogged down by the academic side of things. My aim was for this to be fun for the both of us.

In amongst our drawing, colouring and conversation, Little Miss Green learnt what a vertical and horizontal line was and has discovered how reading out instructions can produce completely different pieces of art. She and I followed the same instructions, given by me, without looking at one another’s paper and we came up with two different pieces of work.

Resources, information and inspiration came from Art Projects for kids and Kinder Art

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