“There is no ‘must’ in art because art is free.” Kandinsky, 1911
Freedom is a powerful concept in our culture. We want our children to experience freedom, yet we continuously impose rules and limits on them. Art is an activity where freedom can be experienced directly, and many rules can be set aside. Through open ended painting experiences, children can safely take risks and enjoy the sense of freedom that comes from acting spontaneously and making their own choices.
I just noticed how the message on my coffee mug matches what I’m writing. I’m drinking coffee from a mug designed by Cambria artist, Fred Babb, who states “art is working on something til you like it, then leaving it that way.” Try a Google or Pinterest search of Fred Babb quotes and you’ll find delightful poster sayings like this one:
Such is the simple and pure relationship of art to freedom. This wonderful splatter & drip mural created at Creative Care for Children, illustrates the freedom and power of open-ended painting. Children of various ages are visibly engaged in “learning by doing.”
The black background paper adds an unexpected surprise and provides contrast for brightly pigmented paints. This oversized black photography paper was donated to Creative Care. If you can’t find a donation source, try a black fade resistant Colorations® Prima-Color™ Paper Roll and be sure to use Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera for brilliant colors and washability.
I’ve always been impressed with the art program at Creative Care for Children, which is owned and operated by Danielle Monroy in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. Danielle is a passionate arts advocate whose expertise in delivering play based learning is inspirational. Danielle let parents know to dress their children for a day of painting. She also directed children to the water tub for sensory play, or any easy and playful way to encourage “clean up.”
Print out this “Why Worry?” mini poster from Smart Art if you’d like help getting parents on board for open ended painting at YOUR school. Because once parents understand the positive skills children learn through art, they won’t worry when children come home with paint on their clothes.
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Materials Used: Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera Paint, set of 15 (SWTALL) Colorations® Flourescent Simply Washable Tempera Paint, set of 7 (FSWTSET) Colorations® Prima-Color™ Fade Resistant Paper Roll, black (RESIST) Smart Art and More Smart Art Ideas, set of 2 (ARTY)
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