Friday, February 29, 2008
In college and while teaching there was this phrase that would be passed around about children's art. It's the process that matters, not the product. This means that the experience of creating art was way more important than the final product. It was an effort to speak out against children's art that all looks the same: like the teacher's example. I really like and appreciate that philosophy of learning art. I applied it in my teaching. And although it would stress out some type-A kids to not have step-by-step instructions on 'how to paint a bear', for the most part it was really rewarding to see how they would tackle this problem.
As Andrew becomes less toddler and more little boy he is more and more able to manipulate materials to create something. And most of the time we are all about the process. When Andrew is drawing with markers in his notebook, it's all about his experience. There is no pressure for his drawing to look a certain way. But sometimes it's hard to not care about the product.
Today Andrew and I bought wooden eggs and paint for an Easter decoration. I had visions of cutely painted wooden eggs this morning and considered how to make it happen. I wanted them to look a certain way. I mean, they would be on my dining room table. But, I wanted Andrew to paint them and like painting them. Not feel any pressure about little chicks or bunnies. So, in order to meet that compromise, I first painted the eggs white so Andrew's painting would look more vibrant. Then I chose some great colors, squirted them into a pan and had him roll the eggs around in the pan.
I think we were successful in a good process and a good product.
It's all about compromise.