Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Art of Family

I have a very hard time letting my kids make good messes. You know, painting, arts and crafts, etc....but I absolutely don't want to stifle their creative development or extinguish their imaginations. So I have been slowly easing up in that area--first, I started letting Reed draw more often. Then once I had set some ground rules (have a set place to store drawings when done, instead of leaving them all over the house to be stepped on and torn, pick up your drawing utensils so your sister doesn't take them), I decided he could draw whenever he wanted, so long as it was at the table and following the ground rules. (MAN, I am uptight.) But I keep feeling like he needs at least a few chances here and there to do more than just draw. And he needs a good place for his work to be displayed. (The fridge is not cutting it.) So today I decided to relax, sit down at the table, and do artsy stuff with the kids.

For three hours.

I didn't start out thinking it would be that long. I had 30 minutes in mind, thinking it wouldn't be long before they wanted to m
ove on to something else. But construction paper and new markers are apparently enough to entertain (if Mom's at the table) for a long time! Savvy even sat in her chair for about 40 minutes and colored. (On herself, too, sampling the markers. They must have tasted good because she ate off the tips of about four.)

We decided to make an artline (which I have named in reference to a clothesline....it holds...art.) Hee hee...

We strung some ribbon between two push-pins (ladybug ones that are really cute) and put clips on the top to hold the drawings. When we were done, we had tons of pieces to hang up and tons to go in the boys' Batman folders I bought for further art-storage.

(Part of the original purpose of The Great Art Project was to make a chain of links to count down the 3 weeks that Phill will be in San Antonio for BNCOC.)
The artline before we began our project....

The artline after.The table (during)


The reason I tend to be so uptight about letting them loose with art supplies.....
See the lovely colors on her chin?
And....the reason I let them run with it today....look how quietly focused he is.

10 comments:

Andrea said...

Good for you. I've felt very similar before, but they really get a lot of joy out of that stuff.

Abby Hanson said...

Oh wow! I thought for sure you had done the black one yourself until I saw Reed working on it. Did he cut the pictures out himself too?? Looks like fun! I should've taken pictures of the Halloween stuff we made. That was the first for us in a long time too.

Lara said...

Washable markers are your friend. :)

Good job!

Sarah said...

Good for you! These easels are great too. Playdough is good for others during nap time or you can make some edible stuff.We have the Rubbermaid storage thing with art stuff in it. Since it's kinda out, it's not as exciting to my kids or off limits so they don't make such a big deal of it being there.

Christy said...

I must tell you, I spent quite some time this evening going through your entire blog looking at every picture. I love the look of your photos. You have an amazing eye and you capture people in the most amazing & beautiful way. You turn the most mundane moments into works of art. You see beauty in everything and capture it. It's hard for a lot of the world to see beauty in Anything, you have a gift.

leslie the licorice stick lady said...

What a good idea--an art-line. It's funny walking around our house. There are pictures taped to the wall at my waist height (the kids' eye-level) all around the house. I have a folder in an art drawer,but it is quickly being over filled. I need a new outlet. maybe I'll give your idea a try (though I may need a few of the, or a really long one!).

Kate said...

Kids love to be artsy but it does tend to get pretty messy.

Heidi said...

I struggle with this, my children have eaten so many marker tops, crayons, pencil leads, play dough gobs, paint, paper... My fireplace and walls and furniture and windows are all covered in markers and crayons. I know I should let them do more art stuff, I should just embrace the madness of five children that want to decorate their world. But too often I end up snapping at them for making an enormous mess. Sigh...

Okay, once again your blog has inspired me to do better! I will let them express their artistic side more and invest in some more Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (which do not, by the way, work on brick or walls painted dark green or unfinished wood furniture. In case you were wondering.)

Someday I will look at my crayon covered brick hearth, when my kids are all teenagers, and I imagine it will make me smile. That's what I tell myself. :)

carajean said...

You know, for as artistic as I am, I also cannot handle letting Eva do art. It gets so out of control. I also have an adhesive substance control issue...meaning, it makes me cringe to see someone using tape or glue incorrectly. Isn't it funny what our children bring out in us? Anyway, the art line is a great idea. I think I will copy you. That is, when I actually become tolerant enough to let Eva do art.

Pam (Haslem) Dana said...

What a good mommy you are! Love the pics!