Friday, February 8, 2013

Some reflection on children and art.....

One thing I am on a quest for as I serve as my children's teacher is to introduce them to the world of art.  Not crafts, but true art.  Of course I love crafts and it's one of my favorite hobbies (and I do some with my kids), I am intentional to make sure we do "art" during our art time.  I also feel like, as a Mama/Teacher I need art in my own life.  I love reading the blogs of a few artists that inspire me.  One is Patricia Zapata, a paper artist and amazing mom.  She posted a discussion of the benefits of art for children lately, and I really recommend it.  It's a quick, enlightening read, and even though there was nothing groundbreakingly new to me in her words, it was a GREAT reminder about why art time is worth the effort. 

I'd really like to encourage the mamas of infants/toddlers/young preschoolers to prevail and press on providing art experiences for your little ones.  Even if they make a huge mess.  Even if they are only "artsy" for two minutes at a time when you spent 10+ minutes preparing the materials.  Even if they don't like getting paint or glue on their hands.  You are setting a framework for art that they will continue to build upon the rest of their lives.  It's worth it, I promise!  I have seen this out in my 4 year old--who is a very independent artist now, but definitely did not start out that way!  And I am working to instill a love for art and creating art in my 18 month old son. 

One of my favorite quotes right now came from a preacher at my church:
"God is in the business of making something out of nothing."  The implications of this can go so many directions, but for me it also speaks for the craving God molded into our beings when He made us in His image--to be a creative, just like Him.  So I feel that teaching my children to create and to love art is part of their spiritual development and an element they need to grow to appreciate our Creator, the Great Artist. 

And now that I've ranted, here's the LINK to Patricia's great article.