Friday, March 4, 2011

kid art, so great

cat toes, by tula mirth, age 4
i have always loved children's art, even before i became a mama.

over the years i have worked with children in urban and rural schools for a little photo project i once did in conjunction with the publication i work for and it was such joy.  all of the children were so delighted to see their photos in print and online.  it was exciting and i miss working with seven-year-olds and seeing the beautiful eyes they have for the world.  as adults we "train" ourselves to learn the process, the perfect lighting and staying up on the latest gear but we sometimes lose a lot when it actually comes to capturing the feeling of life that is so natural in children's work.  when i hear many adults talk about their work it is about the technical and my eyes sag, children say "this is my dog.  i love her.  look at her pink lips."  and i think, yes children!

coffee house by tula mirth, age 4
i recently bought my daughter a digital camera and i love to see what interests her.  it gives me a little doorway into her thoughts and how she views life at the moment.  truthfully, i also enjoy having a partner-in-crime when we take a walk with our cameras and i see that my daughter is a natural street photographer moving among people and photographing them with such ease.  what confidence!  i love street photography but it took me a couple of years in the profession as a twenty-something to command the confidence that my daughter holds.

my daughter may not become a career artist but i like to provide her with the opportunity to express herself, to make messes, to visit museums and to own beautiful books because i think these things help form the whole creative person.  i encourage her to see the quality of light coming through a tree branch or notice the beautiful stitches in a dress because sometimes noticing beauty, helps get you through the day.

here are some books that have helped us along the way or are on our current wish list.

first art: art experiences for toddlers and twos                                 
i started with this one and it was a lovely thing to watch a 9-month-old finger paint. 

discovering great artists: hands-on art for children in the styles of the great masters (bright ideas for learning) 
some really lovely art projects are included in this book which simplify art techniques such as creating egg paint,  yes really!

the art book for children, book two                                               
lovely visual encyclopedia of artists. 

frida                                                                                                                                                                                          beautifully illustrated book about frida kahlo when she was a little girl.

henri matisse: drawing with scissors (smart about art)               
my daughter currently loves any project that involves scissors.

courtesy of
don't you love this gallery wall from martha   stewart?  i am looking at beautiful ways to display my daughter's art so if any of you have any great ideas please send them my way!  i plan on making a future post about displaying children's art.


1 comment:

  1. A friend of ours has a long hallway and put up pretty drawer pulls with wire between them and hung art work with pretty clips. It is at the child's level so they could arrange/remove/add teh peices as thier heart desires.


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