preschool art

ART | Art class for preschoolers : TREE (2)

After we had studied a lot of trees and gained enough confidence in drawing lines, creative flowed naturally. Then it was time to make art, applying those lines into creative work. In this term each artist had 2 master pieces. First piece was a deconstructed version of tree. We played with dots and continuation of lines, starting from small dots which represented seeds at the bottom of paper and bigger dots scattering on the upper part of the work representing fruits of this imagined tree. Then our young artists need to connect those dots – from seeds to fruits – with lines. Many lines from many seeds travelled up to form a patch of dense lines which turned to be a trunk. Those lines travelled apart from each other again to form many branches of the tree. They were intertwining, weaving, and criss-crossing with each other. They travelled up to the top part of paper to encircles the bigger dots which were fruits of the trees. Eventually, a clear image of imagined tree was revealed.

The second work, we invited kids to see what was inside the trunk. They were inspired by beautiful pictures of those year rings. A very curved line formed a circle, and bigger circle encircling the smaller one inside and so one. The most challenging part was that each line was parallel with the one next to it. This is about focus and control. The rings kept expanding until space on the rectangular drawing block was not enough and some parts of the out rings could not be seen as they could not fit in the paper. This concept was a huge thing for kids to learn. They learned that things which could not be seen did not mean they were disappeared. In addition, for older kids in the class, they learned about space as they needed to be a able to see the lines continuing even though they disappeared from the paper. In a way, they started to learn the concept of ‘cropping’. What’s more, for both younger and older kids, they saw that the shape of the rings, even though they tried to keep them parallel to the inside ring, transformed. Lines, when being conditioned with change of size or space, had their own journey and momentum. Nothing should be perfect in a world of creative art. Things evolve, develop, and change. Artists are not the ones who can control everything, but the ones who accept whatever happen and continue creating from them.

And from the photos they saw, some also saw smaller lines between the rings going perpendicular with the ring itself. Then they started to draw small lines between the rings and we agreed to develop on that idea. As a result, they had options to draw small lines between the rings or color in that space instead. The most beautiful part of this work was reserved for small dots which were to be added between tow rings the last. The idea was from a part of trees called xylem. It is a type of transport tissue in plants. The young artists apply white glue on paper in the space between the chosen two rings, then sprinkle cut out dots (prepared by teachers using a hold punchers) on the rule. With the glimpse of spontaneity and confidence plus combination of colors carefully picked by themselves, the artwork came out very stunning. It was such a beautiful work made out of simple things – just dots and lines.

It was such an enriching term. The value of not rushing through the process to force artwork to be prematurely born showed its outcome beautifully. It was our distinctive point that we prefer to walk through process of art making slowly from the beginning – from gathering experiences, translating onto paper, and transforming all creative marks into artwork – for the little artists to understand and be innately and daringly creative when they were to make art in the future. Most important part we learnt throng this journey was the learning how to appreciate beauty of simple things in everyday life which laid foundation of a positive and creative way of thinking throughout there life. 

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ART | Art class for preschoolers : TREE (1)

Art nurtures soul. Most of us know that, but only some of us give importance to an art class. It is true that early childhood kids are naturally interested in art. They enjoy scribbling, coloring and drawing. They are full of imagination but, sadly, it slowly fades away when they grow up and enroll to a school. Formal education does not allow enough time for this gift from nature to grow. Art call for preschoolers tries its best to keep this creative seed alive and to provide room for it to grow strong in adulthood’s wind.

Each term covers 8 sessions which focuses on different particular theme. For this term we talked about trees. By this I did not mean that we asked students to sketch trees as how we saw them. Rather, we had trees as a main source of inspiration for our art work, studying them through process of art making. There are still very few experiences in their lives to cognitively process conceptual idea. As a result, first-handed experiences are crucial for this age group. They learn best by seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, sensing them in a way most appropriate.

The whole trees were deconstructed into simpler forms which are easier for kids to appreciate. The whole class went out to our garden to look at real trees. They could go to the trees as close as they wanted, touching or hugging them. They were encouraged by teachers to follow the tree trunk and branches with their hands drawing in the air following the contour of the trees. They were told to look up and observe curve and criss-cross lines of branches, strong thick lines of trunks, small dots of leaves and beautiful color of flowers. Apart from observing the trees in the arts center’s garden, kids also had a chance to see photos of trees from other parts of the world. From real trees and photos of trees, we saw straight lines, curve lines, wavy lines, and zig-zag lines. Some lines were short, while some lines were long. Some were thick, and some were thin.

The next learning process is to translate all those lines onto paper. It was the most difficult part out of the whole process. The young artists tried drawing many kinds of lines, thick and thin, long and short, straight and curve, curly and wavy. They tried on different kinds of paper, different sizes, different textures, and different colors, using various tools and mediums. Actually this was a process of sharping their skill which could be tedious but with a sense of a playful experiment together with story telling, kids were engaged throughout. We spent a few sessions for this practice and at the end of the terms, each student had quite a number of different paper with many kinds of lines on them, including big mahjong paper which was bigger than kids themselves. It is a collection of lines of each individual not just practicing paper. You can think of these lines as alphabets. To be able to make words, you need to know the alphabets first. Similarly, to make art works, it is easier if you have some collection of lines ready to be used.

Next blog I will show you how the young artists put together their artistic mark making to turn them into artwork.

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