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Monday, August 02, 2010

Kids Art: Paper & Fabric Collage

Kids Art: Paper and Fabric Collage self-directed expression

Over the last month or so, seeing all the little fabric scraps leftover from my sewing, Ana has taken to some sort of Paper & Fabric Collage work. Nothing fancy, just a simple activity that keeps her busy for a couple of hours on some afternoons.

For her "art projects" these days, she declines any guidance or direction I try to offer. "I like to do projects when it is my idea, Amma. You can use your ideas for your own projects."

This is music to my ears. Our art explorations so far has been very relaxed and open-ended, most of my contribution aimed at presenting some simple tools and techniques that she can take and adapt to her style and creative expression.

So, while there are lots of websites with specific directions and suggestions for Fabric Collage projects, letting her come up with whatever she likes was the natural way for us to go. Not only does this give me the opportunity to watch and encourage, it certainly lets her flex her wings and explore self-directed expression.

Items Used: Scrap fabric, glue, paper, scissors, watercolor paints, glitter, feather, yarn, googly-eyes, and other embellishments.

Sometimes, it is quite abstract like this piece here: caterpillars on leaves and happy animals in a fairy garden.

Kids Art: Paper and Fabric Collage self-directed creative expression

Sometimes it is quite concrete, like a princess in her garden with lots of butterflies, where she requests my drawing skills, such as they are.

We've been making monthly calendars - just a large enough piece of easel paper, with a number grid for the days. Usually, she does it in school during the school year, thanks to her teacher. Each of these sheets sports some art work above the number grid, something that Ana did. For July, she went with her current favorite - Paper and Fabric Collage.

The theme for this collage was Flowers in Bloom in a Fairy Garden, which she specifically requested me to draw on the paper so she can glue on the fabric pieces. I happily obliged, of course, glad to be part of her creative world again.

Kids Art: Paper and Fabric Collage self-directed creative expression

Every once in a while, the artwork in a book we've read recently inspires her and she speculates on how it was done. While I may not have a satisfactory response, we talk about how we can do something like that with the materials handy. That's how these fish came about. I drew a rough outline for the fish, she glued the fabric and we finished the rest of the fish with watercolor and googly-eyes.

Kids Art: Paper and Fabric Collage self-directed creative expression

As is evident, none of these pieces are spectacular in the conventional sense. But, from my perspective, the end product's virtues rank far below the joy and accomplishment she feels during the process.

Afternoons, after lunch, is free play time for Ana. She can do anything she wants. Sometimes she plays with her paper dolls. Sometimes she reads her current favorite set of books. Sometimes, she plays with Enid, or Polly Pocket. Sometimes she does some simple craft or art project, like these collages. Until Oggie wakes up from his power-nap, that is. At which point, the entropy of the household changes rapidly...

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At 4:47 AM, Blogger Kristine said...

We are starting to develop that same afternoon pattern as my oldest starts to give up her daysleeps. I'm looking forward to her being more self directed in that time. On saying that she does initiate a lot of 'craft' but it doesn't seem to result in anything - which I know isn't always the point but...

PS I think the collages are lovely. Does she use fabric scissors?

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

So good to see you here Kristine, thanks for always having something nice to say and share!

Re scissors: Ana uses the small, child-size craft scissors that has blunt end (so it can't quite poke if she stabs with it), but has sharp enough blades (about 2 inches long) for paper and fabric.


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