Artists just… know. So do children. They both tell the world their passion through painting. When music becomes part of creating art, magic happens.
“Art should make you feel, like music.” -Wassily Kandinsky-
Kandinsky is a favorite artist with the children. They like his colorful art, and they want to paint like him. I read aloud the children’s book, The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, by Barb Rosenstock. When Kandinsky was a boy and first painted, he heard music as the paintbrush mixed the colors of paint. The sounds of music were there throughout his life whenever he painted. He named his pieces of art after the music he heard and loved. Kandinsky understood that music and art are connected. Children do, too!
Rowan wanted to paint Starry Night. She used finger paints, and then asked for music. We had introduced Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Handel’s Water Music. She knew right away that it was Water Music she needed to hear. She was right. Her masterpiece is incredible.
Music makes the difference. The children know my words, “When you hear the music, it goes into your ears, then into your heart, and out your fingers.” They feel empowered and they paint with abandon.
“Color is a power that directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard. The artist is the hand that plays.” -Wassily Kandinsy-
When I show children colorful art, indeed they feel, much like what Kandinsky and other artists understood. A favorite painting is Large Blue Horses, by Franz Marc. The bold brush strokes and the intense blues are stirring. No wonder children want to paint that masterpiece. Aaryan certainly did. We were in the middle of cleaning up after snack, not the time we were painting. But Aaryan needed to paint. So, I set up the stand-up table for him, including a picture of Large Blue Horses.
A short while later he said, “Jennie, you forgot the music.” Yes, I had forgotten. Aaryan wasn’t sure what he wanted to hear, so I held up different album covers. He chose The Supremes, perhaps because it, too, had a colorful cover. The music certainly fit the moment, as he listened to the words in the song that said, “…love is like an itching in my heart…” Then, Aaryan went to work in earnest. Beautiful!
If I can fill the hearts of children with music and art, they have the foundation of goodness and also courage. I like to think that a ‘sense of self’ is a great gift. While they may not remember these preschool experiences, that mark has already penetrated, and will help shape who they become.
We mount and frame children’s art next week. Children then get to name their masterpieces. After all their hard work, each one deserves a title. They will hang in our annual Art Show for the whole community to see and enjoy. Stay tuned!