Wednesday, July 27, 2011

making faces, pencil markings, plank creations

It's so special to create something out of nothing...watching it materialize...using your own hands. LC is just as delighted as I am using simple materials. We had a blast in July.

LC's art goal, at home, was to master drawing a smile...she said "mommy show me how make happy face". I love seeing the faces she creates (sometimes she adds hair, little legs, feet and arms):




We went to CMOM (Children's Museum of Manhattan) on July 6, LC loves that place and they happened to have a free workshop that we missed...but the table was still covered with lots of paper cutouts of facial features and glue was available...so they invited LC to enjoy it all (I think the actual workshop was to teach the five senses)...I thought this was a great way to allow little ones to create faces, all by themselves.



LC had some fun creating new colors, at home...mixing Crayola crayons together, on paper (she was doing this with paints earlier in the summer)...she told me "blue and yellow make green!":


And LC's grasp is improving on the very simple tool...the pencil:


the Alex Creamy Crayons are still going on strong...same box, many months.





When I bought Dado Planks for LC, as a Christmas present 7 months ago, she didn't quite know how to use them to build anything. She liked to count them, though...and sort them by color! Now, she loves to build with them and uses her imagination to create "castles", "towers" etc.



Other than asking mommy to join her 30-60 min to play ThinkFun Zingo every day (TOTY 2009 Best Toy of the Year - Toy Industry Association), a fantastic first board game for preschoolers and so fun for adults, by the way...well...these Dado Planks are also a real winner in our home (2010 Fat Brain Toys Winner, well-deserved)...we can sit down for 30-60 min every day to make a new creation. Here are 2 recent ones...a "castle":


and our giant tilting (who knows how it's not falling over) "tower", let me give you 3 views of that:





LC has always had intense focus and an impressive attention span (building with legos, reading books, drawing/painting, solving puzzles, playing music, singing & dancing etc.), but now...that attention span combined with her blossoming imagination...it's just endless possibilities of play. I am most excited about storytelling...listening to LC's new stories...and creating puppet shows together. It's also wonderful for her to run up to me with something she created on her own, as she tells me the pretend story behind it...and I feel like I'm sharing an adventure with her. A large cardboard box became a "boat" that she wanted to ride with her stuffed dinosaurs in June. In July, she assembled a few lego bricks (in a nice color scheme) and said "this is a plane, mommy" and she was flying it around the room:




So cool. Though the weather most certainly is not...we are enveloped in a heat & humidity dome.

Blue Pom-Pom

I was happy to find a yarn craft that a 3 year old could help me with...this only required a ball of yarn, a pair of safety scissors and 2 circles cut out of cardboard. LC chose the color of yarn (would you say it's cyan?). I didn't do such a great job cutting the cardboard evenly, it was too thick and the safety scissors could barely do the job) but it didn't matter to LC. She enjoyed winding the yarn around the cardboard circles. After I cut around the edges of the yarn and tied a piece of yarn around the middle and removed the cardboard etc....LC enjoyed fluffing it up.
























Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Mother Goose

Taking a break from my summer break...to post this. Copying drawings from a book...source book was on my right side...pad was to my left. Here's the result: (click on any image to see the larger pic, then click back)












I'm melting...it's a heat wave...what do you do when it feels like 101 degrees outside, with no end in sight?...and you don't want to step out of air-conditioning today...hmmm...torn between grabbing the new knitting needles or old art supplies...the latter won out (because LC interrupting me dozens of times will not affect the outcome of a drawing so much)...


I grabbed a pad of Strathmore smooth newsprint paper from my shelf (it's an inexpensive surface for practicing drawing techniques)...one of my Faber-Castell 9000 HB pencils ("over a century of history as an important working tool of writers, artists and engineers")....and one of LC's favorite children's books (My First Mother Goose)...that's all I needed.


LC is most certainly fascinated by the process of mama copying illustrations...it's like magic to her. I enjoy freehand drawing, with no grid, no measurements or special tools...it's not about perfection...it's more about learning the techniques of skilled illustrators...and getting inside his/her head...figuring out why the artist included specific details, what is unique in terms of their style...and how you can incorporate your own style to change it up a bit...and getting some ideas for a totally new creation later.



It's a starting point...and it gets the creative juices flowing and forces you to practice drawing some things (expressions on people's faces, clothing, gestures, animals, nature, objects) you may not be comfortable drawing yet. To challenge myself, I set a limit of 15 minutes per page. I also enjoyed LC looking at the book and then at the sheet of paper...and announcing the images that were materializing and what was still missing.