Saturday, December 03, 2022
One of my greatest pleasures is to draw with children. I only need to give a child a spark of an idea and their imagination runs wild. When I watch them working carefully and intently with line and color, I am inspired on all levels of my being. Their work is playful and unplanned. They do not think much before they do, they just live within the experience of drawing. What is revealed on the paper, their creation, is not separate from them, it is alive with them. These drawings are true acts of creation occurring in front of my eyes. Children, like all humans, are creators and through the act of art-making we live within the realm of the gods.
Drawing is a visual language. Like all languages, we learn best through immersion. Children living within an environment where drawing is an aspect of daily work and communication will become more and more able to express their feelings and ideas through drawing and picture-making.
This blog and my work through Handheld Arts is meant to guide you in your work with young children. The contents and courses can be used as a teaching guide, providing step-by-step lessons for teaching. It can also be used as a teacher development tool, giving you the opportunity to practice and improve your own skills so that you have the confidence to share in the activity with children.
When a teacher teaches out their understanding of human development, they work with a different set of tools in the classroom, ones that are more effective and offer more satisfying results. We will always start out of the developmental picture when we set out on our work together.
When I teach drawing to young children (age 5-8), I first create an image and then develop the step-by-step process needed to guide the children with easy, creative, imaginative language so they can follow along. This method depends exclusively on the strongest learning impulses that children have, imitation. Until about the age of 9, when children begin to develop a greater sense of separateness and personal autonomy, this approach can be successful without squelching the creativity of the individual child.
I believe that the teacher’s ultimate goal should be to develop the child’s own skills in drawing. Through introducing new ways of doing things, new ways to "make a picture" and introducing them to the glorious world of color relationships, children can draw and practice drawing on their own with greater confidence and ability.
By integrating new ideas and approaches into your teaching practice, you will create an atmosphere in your home or classroom where children feel that their artistic efforts are acknowledged and supported. Each lesson offers an opportunity to experiment with new techniques and at the same time practice and improve on foundational skills.
I look forward to working with you.
Artist, Teacher, Mentor
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"
- Vincent Van Gogh