Well, that was an unplanned blog hiatus! G and I did this right before the flu took me under…
(Inspired by “Impressive Burlap” in MaryAnn Kohl’s First Art.)
Materials: Watercolor paper, tempera paint, vegetable netting (I used the top from a clementine box), tape
Sometimes we try things that are only semi-successful, but that doesn’t mean they’re not valuable. I think the most successful art experiences are often the ones G choreographs (more on that in the next post!), but when I introduce something new, that helps to expand her vocabulary in the studio. She has more tools at her disposal, whether she chooses to use them or not. I also think of the advice often given to parents when their children begin eating food, that a new item has to be offered many times before a child will try it or like it. I figure it works the same way with experiences.
And it’s not that she didn’t like this; she just didn’t get to into it. She was content to “see what happened” and be done.
The idea is to paint through the netting and make a print that way (instead of painting on something and then pressing the paper onto it to make a print). In the book, burlap is used. I had a piece of burlap ready, but I thought we’d start with the netting because the holes are bigger.
G chose her colors, I taped down the netting, and she began.
She didn’t really have much of an interest in covering the entire piece of netting. She dabbed on some paint and then wanted to see what happened. I showed her, and she added a little more.
A little double-handed painting… and then she was done. She didn’t want to paint through the burlap on the other side of the paper. To extend just a wee bit, I suggested we make a print of the netting on the other side of the paper. G was agreeable but not terribly excited.
In this photo, the painting-through is on the bottom and the print is on the top. And then we were done.
I think it’s valuable to document the activities that maybe don’t work out so well, first because I use this blog to document what we do for my own purposes, and that doesn’t mean just the wildly successful stuff. Second, it may appeal to someone else who comes across it–your child might love this! And third, because you never know, a few months from now G may direct me to get her some vegetable netting for an idea she has, and if we hadn’t done this, she wouldn’t know to ask.
What are some activities that haven’t quite worked out the way you thought? And did the ideas presented resurface later on?