Oh, how I love art! I am, by no means, an artist. As a mater of fact, I FEARED art as a child. I could not draw to save my life and it seemed that it was always part of every subject. We had to draw models in math (pictures to represent our thinking) and it went hand in hand with the subject of writing. That doesn't even begin to touch the traditional - Friday Art Project. I was no good at it, and it really frustrated me, but I wished I could do art because I loved the idea of it.
When I became a teacher, I decided to take the fear out of art for my kids. I started taking art classes for teachers in college and have spent many years practicing art with my own kids. I can honestly say that I am no better at art than when I started, but I've learned to overcome my fear. I strive to find the art in every day life and make things beautiful around me. My big learning is that it just doesn't have to be perfect... that's all.
When I was at the NAEYC conference in Dallas, a few weeks ago, I was able to hear Peter Reynolds speak. I could have listened to him all day. He just GETS kids. He knows their thoughts and fears when it comes to art and creativity and helps them think outside the box. The books, pictured above, are a trio which really inspire kids to be the artist THEY are and not try to be perfect. Sky Color, Ish, and The Dot are absolutely beautiful stories about the fact that it might not look exactly like a house, but it's house-ish. Today, we did some Peter Reynolds inspired art. It didn't have to be perfect, but it was our way of practicing small motor, trying to draw something new, and then adding labels later.
It was good day, and we were ALL artist-ish.
(These books really are great and should be read over and over! Check them out at the local library if you can, or keep them in mind for Holiday gift giving.)