My first “retropective” art show … Love those preschoolers! How children teach us art lessons…

Preschool class Valentine activities with my heart art displayed big time on their walls!

Preschool class Valentine activities with my heart art displayed big time on their walls!

I couldn’t let the month of February with its Love/Heart motif get away without showing you something fun. A couple of years ago one of the parent volunteers was helping coordinate an art lesson for the little ones in a preschool back east. I happily gave her requested permission to use my art for their project. Sorry I didn’t save the names to give credit. I’m sad about that!

The energetic parent printed out nearly every heart-based motif  image found on my website, and enlarged them for the display. Don’t you love the clever giant card in the envelope center of the group? The best part is the kids and their funny and lovable expressions. (click on the photo to enlarge.)

Preschoolers with heart art projects in hand

Preschoolers with heart art projects in hand

I’ve noted my two pics for the upcoming artists in the group. Might not be truly significant at this age, but somehow these two managed to “stop before you overwork it!” A lesson for all of us, don’t you agree?

When I did student teaching in art K-12 years ago, my favorite age was the first graders. At the age of 6, the kids had more motor skills and were no longer frustrated with their own coordination to perform the art class projects. They were fearless with the tempera paint and never worried about the outcome of their piece. The results were fresh and wonderful.

When their painting was finished, they simply moved on to the next thing. Interestingly, the second grade kids, about age 7-8, were already fussing that they couldn’t create an image that looked “real” enough. Sigh… seems way too early for kids to get frustrated with their art experience! Ideally, an art project allows enjoyment of painting and discovery at the same time.

Katie's Loovre, Acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor

Katie’s Loovre with poetry and quotes, Acrylic and digital overlay with type, Karen Gillis Taylor

That is the key for adults too? Allow yourself to enjoy exploring the paints, without trying to create a masterpiece. Break it down to simple lessons to get to the next step, grow a step at a time, enjoying the process. The rest comes later.

“The essential ingredient for creativity is wasting time.” (Anonymous)

Maybe we will enjoy our arts more if we just try to make things in a playful frame of mind. That is how this painting evolved, “Katie’s Loovre.” Once I began to think of how love impacts our lives, I wrote down things people simple say about love and life. (It began to take on some funny thoughts. What do you say on a first date? Nice shoes?)
 We painters should get ourselves out of the mentality that every session of painting should produce a good product, a decent painting. You can’t always get to the good result until you make some bad ones. Respect yourself for being a persevering artist, and learn all the time, in good and bad sessions. Be friends with your creative spirit that was born as a child. Don’t lose the child part of your art. It might get you through to the next place you will truly enjoy.

What do you want to try in painting, something you ‘ve never done before?  Paint a ten foot mural? Paint an entire canvas with a palette knife? A sponge? Stepping outside of the box and having a little fun with your inner child might push you to a new love of the art process. Let me know if you have an idea about this!


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One Response to “My first “retropective” art show … Love those preschoolers! How children teach us art lessons…”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    loved this! Funny, I have been thinking of painting an mural in my family room!!


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