So our Wednesday explore art has been on a bit of a hiatus, not that we don't have several projects going or that our fridge is lacking any Cyrus originals. The process of making art and chronicling our art making just haven't found a good time to mesh.
I've got to take some pictures of Cy's artwork he's been doing at school. I love seeing what he comes home with in his folder and even more fun is his explanation of everything. A couple weeks ago he had a nice series going inspired but the letter H and horses, horses in fields of flowers, a farm scene with horses and a big top tent for a barn. Yeah, they are great.
If I can get it together I'd love to do a series featuring how to preserve/ archive children's artwork, including taking digital photos, cropping and saving them to make a slide show. Trust me I need to, Cy's portfolio downstairs has turned into an old diaper box piled with art work. While I'd love to save it all I really need to turn half of it into digital files or start looking for a storage unit.
Getting on with today's explore art post it's a bit of a cheat. Here's the first part of an article I wrote for PG, Parental Guidance Magazine, a monthly magazine distributed through our community. All about crayons, where they came from and how your child can use them to make art. Here's the start of the article followed by a link to read more:
* If you go on to read the rest of the article on the Post Journal site I've linked, just an fyi some of the titles that were meant to separate sections are in the main part of the paragraphs. I think it makes more sense if you keep that in mind, not really sure what happened when they posted it? ie, Explore the World of Art is a section title not meant to be in that paragraph*
According to Wikipedia.com, crayons can be traced as far back as the Egyptians who used a form of beeswax and pigment to fix an image on stone, known as encaustic painting. The basic idea of the more contemporary crayon appeared in Europe around the late 1700’s; used by artists like Leonardo da Vinci. It was not until the late 19th century, early 20th century that big companies like Crayola and American Crayon saw the money making potential of marketing crayons to educational/ classroom and crafts for children.
Crayons as we know them became more widely used in the beginning to middle of the 20th century with Crayola becoming the leading crayon brand in the 1950s.
So we know where they’ve come from but what else is there to know about children using crayons?
Outside the Coloring Book
While we all have owned a box of crayolas and a coloring book at some point in our lives, but don’t be afraid to step out of the coloring book a little. The traditional use of crayons is often to entertain a small child with coloring sheets. But don’t stop there, encourage them to go further. A blank sheet of paper will go a long way allowing a child to be creative, use their imagination and express themselves. By encouraging a child to make their own picture you can watch how they view and process the world around us.
Coloring is a great release of emotions and feelings. Have you as an adult ever sat down and felt the therapeutic benefits of making a picture? Therapists who specialize in art therapy use the process of creating art as a way to approach and talk to children. Once engaged in the process of creating art a child will relax and open to guided conversation. Give it a try with your children, not that you have to give them a therapy session; but use art or coloring as a tool to bond and talk together.