Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Art Class

Talking about art, I took TV to the art class when she was 11 months. Everyone around thought it was ridiculous to take such a tiny tot to a 'class'. But TV was exploring colors and textures at home and I thought the 'art exploration' will give us (her and I) the opportunity to have some more fun. Moreover, at 11 months, TV was not quite mobile and running around like others. She was barely crawling to reach things she wanted to but was not enjoying the 'crawling all over', unlike other babies her age. Besides, she seemed to show good attention span and focus. So I thought, I shall give it a try!

Our trial class, was messy - finger and hand painting:) The art teacher was great - being a trained artist as well as an early childhood educator. And TV loved to explore the gooey paints of different colors (a texture she was not exposed to before - for obvious reasons). She was amused about transfering the 'color' on hand onto the paper in the front. She was confused that while she was mish-mushing squish-squashing and getting her hands 'dirty', the grownups around (mom included) were applauding and encouraging. She sat through the activity for 20 -25 min - about half the class duration. Then I took her around to look at what the other tots were doing, and to see the beautiful paintings by kids exhibited on the walls. After this 10 min break, TV was back to her drawing board, with markers this time (her first time with such tool too.) During the 15 min with markers, she inspected them turning them over and over. The teacher, holding her hand made some dots on the paper, by barely touching the paper. She did'nt use them much that day - the way she should have. But on the next day, at home, with my pen and diary, she explored the tool thoroughly, while I was busy with a phone call.

Since this first day, we attended 10 sessions at the 'Mums and Tots Arts Class'. And during these, TV explored water paints, colored and textured papers, collage, canvass board, brushes, rollers, markers, hand paints, and other tools like strings, rubber bands on tissue rolls, bubble paper, golf ball, crushed paper/foil, wooden blocks.

By her sixth session (at around 12 and half months), TV was following teacher's directions and doing as per instructions (although she had her opinions, preferences and of course the power to say no). Her sixt session she sat through the entire 55 minutes, without a break. (WOW! believe me its not so easy.)

Our Art Rhyme:
Move Move Move the brush,
gently on the sheet,
merrily, newly, funnily, merrily,
art is such a treat!

By the end of the term, TV had some 40-45 original artworks - those made in the class with the teacher, and many made at home on the cue. Like once mom and dad were chatting at tea, TV ripped apart a small red envelope lying around, put those pieces in my glass of water, took them out and placed those pieces on another paper to create a collage to our surprise.

In the meantime, all our near and dear ones received a touch of TV's art on their special days - either as a painting or as a greeting card or a gift wrap on their gifts. I am not sure how many of them liked or appreciated her art, this practice turned out to be a great confidence boost and motivator for TV.
'It's my painting' 'I did something useful'.
And of course, whether the recipients found it worthwhile or now, everyone had a courtsey praise for it.
'Did you do it TV? that's so beautiful. Thanks for making this special for me.'
I realised that this simple practice also had another big impact. It projected little TV as an entity in her own right. Her presence was acknowledged in social gatherings. This 1 year old was greeted and talked to by adults even in busiest of parties. She had a significant role to play during gift exchange as we made it a point to get her to gift the pack to whoever it may be.

Well, we took a break from the art class after the 10 sessions. I do intend to take her back when she begins to understand more.

But meanwhile she now has a preferred tool - markers, with which she is 'paint-paint'ing away to her heart's delight and my peace of mind.

She has innovated different techniques with her favorite tool - mono-color, black and white, poke-a-painting, doodle-ing with both hands, circle-circle, marker and water...

Not to mention, now we have a lot of gift wrap and greeting card material and a few real 'master pieces', some of which we have displayed on our walls and some we intend to part off for the ones really special to TV!

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