You can see that we're a tad too busy this month for a leisurely afternoon of art instruction, so I've been intentionally incorporating experiential art lessons, the kind that are more focused on creativity than technique, into our school weeks. We've been getting an especial amount of use out of Once Upon a Piece of Paper, which I was given for free by a publicist. It doesn't intimidate Will, since it doesn't focus on drawing by hand (which she wrongly thinks that she's bad at), and it offers the scope for imagination that inspires Syd to go all-out in the crazy-detailed way that she enjoys.
We've made some of the projects more elaborate than the book asks for them to be, simply because they're so fun. This project, for instance, was simply meant to be a quick pass across three or so surfaces, to teach us that groupings often look very nice--
--but I pulled out some small canvases that I purchased at some time or other, and then we somehow all got really invested in our work. Instead of one quick swath of paint, Syd layered and overlapped and added many, many, MANY swaths--
--and that treasure trove of National Geographics that we scored at the public library's last book sale came in very handy, indeed:
--but the kids both really ran with the process and ended up with some super cool results:
We got so invested in doing the project our own way that we completely forgot to even peek into the pad of collage paper that comes with the book. Both kids remembered it for the ice cream project, though:
The project was mostly about making interesting and unusual paper combinations, and seeing how surprisingly well they tend to work together (using ice cream cones for this is pretty brilliant, because it turns out that EVERYTHING looks cute as an ice cream cone!), but Syd added an entire narrative to hers, and those awesome collage people?
She has never made anything like that before! I really love the woman at the top--Syd wants the red piece to be hair, but I think it looks exactly like a scarf. Syd also doesn't think that the blue figure at the bottom looks like a robot at ALL, but I do, and it cracks me up that there's a robot just casually downing some ice cream with all the other folks.
Considering that my goal for each art lesson is for Will to feel comfortable and confident being creative, and for Syd to learn a new skill or technique, I'd have to say that we didn't do too shabbily even without our Husband/Father Artist-in-Residence to guide us!