Next week we begin in earnest to prepare for our annual Art Show for the entire community. In past years children have painted major works of art. I am never surprised when they love a piece of art. I am always surprised at the results, their masterpieces. They are remarkable. Always.
Starry Night by Liam, from Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night
The Girl in the Garden by Colin, from Claude Monet’s Gladioli
Replicating the art of Vassily Kandinsky
How can this be, with preschoolers? How can a four-year-old see, understand, and have the passion to create?
It begins with looking at art, really studying and talking about what they see. I ask so many questions. We just look and talk, together. Sometimes I say, “Oh, my!” Or “Wow!” and stop. Children jump at the chance to say something. That is when they begin to see. Children have open minds; they have not been encumbered with the ideas of others. Their minds are sponges and their hearts are open. Therefore, art is exciting. It creates an “I can” attitude. Nothing is impossible. Or should I say anything is possible.
When I show children art, I often stop to say, “Miles, you could paint that!” As I do this with art, children cross the bridge from liking to I can. The next step is to allow them to paint anything they want, give them real paints and tools, and let them work on their painting over and over again. After all, a masterpiece was not made in a day.
When a child feels satisfied that their art is complete, it is framed in a mat and unveiled. That is when a child names their masterpiece. Giving a title validates how important their work is. This is the grand finale before the art is displayed.
I can’t wait to begin next week and see what children create.