Thursday, September 23, 2010

My 2 Years Journey into Art with Putti !!

I have absolutely no knowledge or any background in Arts and Early childhood education. My only childhood art experience I remember is with crayons, markers and some watercolors that too after I was 7-8yrs I think. But have done plenty crafts like soap carving, stuffed doll making, sponge dolls etc as a kid. And I was completely ignorant about how and why young kids are being exposed to arts/creative/sensory activities.
I had let Putti play with random pieces of sponges, fabric scraps, beans, plastic cups and bowls from kitchen, without knowing I was encouraging sensory play. Also she has loved to squish, pinch, pull and even eat the chapati (wheat flour flat bread) dough and I did not have the slightest idea, she was getting to work on her fine motor skills !!
Putti had held a pen when she was around 10 mnths and was amused to see the marks it created on paper. Soon we had got her crayons and markers but I never gave much importance to that. Just was another play time idea.

It was exactly 2 years ago for father's day (June 2009) that I sat down with then 1.5 yr Putti to make our first 'Art' adventure together. We made a card for 'Father's day'. Putti enjoyed the whole process a lot !! We had made the card with turmeric, kumkum and green food colors as I did not have any paints at home then.

After that I wanted to buy her some paints to use as and when needed, but was overwhelmed with the choices available in the stores and came home empty handed not knowing what to buy. Also I was not very confident that I will be able to create something(the end product was always in mind) with her. She continued to enjoy scribbling with crayons, markers and play dough. After couple of months, putti started asking me to paint her face often and I ended up buying a set of face paint which became sort of all purpose paint for us. I used the same paints to make some holiday arts with her. Each time I wanted to paint with her, I would google for the holiday themed art and make accordingly. Foot and handprints were my favorites since then.

But most often it was just crayons, markers and colored pencils only. And then finally I bought some finger paints, crayola washable paints and various chubby and sponge brushes. Putti loved exploring it with her fingers and also all the brushes.
Even afterwards I always tried to show her how to make/paint tree, flower, sun etc.  I would sit with her and tell her put green here, paint here etc.. I now realise i was making a BIG mistake. 

One day I saw the bookPreschool Art” by Mary Ann Kohl in the library. And got it home with the hope to get ideas to paint with Putti.
That book opened my eyes and I realised the mistakes I have been doing with exposing Putti to Art. The words “Its the process not the product” made me think a lot. Love her words to kids Process not product” means that you can explore art materials and enjoy what happens. You don’t have to copy what an adult makes or even try to make something a friend has made. There is no right or wrong way for these art ideas to turn out; there is only YOUR way. YOU are artist. When you try fingerpainting on a cookie sheet, don’t concern with what you should make. Just enjoy the doing. That’s the whole idea of art ".

After reading the book, I started to look for more information and came across some wonderful blogs. Out of which 'The Artful Parent' who had a wonderful toddler art group influenced me a lot. I was amazed when I saw this post where she shares couple of artworks of her daughter from age 1 and 2. I started doing some open ended process based art activities with Putti and both of us loved it. We took things very slow, repeated the same process several times and grew little by little. I learnt a lot too. I read about how kids draw at various ages and the various developmental stages of drawing  here. We both did enjoy the process and our mistakes too:)
 Soon, the art works of putti started to pile up and I saw how wonderful the abstract art of a toddler looks when framed here. I framed a couple of putti's and started to rotate the picture often. Later in Sept 2010 we made this 'Art Wall' in her play room. Just sewed sheet protectors to a felt fabric and glued some borders. The 'Art Wall' was painted by putti as you can see here.
And nearly after almost 2.5yrs of blogging in kannada, I decided to write the art and other activity posts in english so that I can reach more people and thus exchange ideas. I am thankful to all the wonderful people who host link parties on their blogs where I link to, thus get to see numerous other awesome ideas. Through the link parties, I discovered many more inspiring blogs and also made some very helpful friends. I am grateful to those who have liked our work and encouraged us by featuring some of our works as you can see here on their websites, Thanks!! 
And thanks to all my wonderful readers who read what we do, leave comments and encourage us to keep going!! Love you all, Cheers !!!
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So nice reading about your voyage of creativity

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