Little Sunbeams, Authenticity, and Collaboration 3


IMG_2653(1)If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. Roald Dahl

Art doesn’t pay my bills. I hope one day to pay some of my bills through my creative endeavors, but for now I spend my days caring for three wonderful little people ~ thats my day job. Helping raise other peoples’ children ~ I love what I do! Of course some days the wee ones might be feeling a bit cranky or just downright ornery, but the majority of the time they are little rays of sunshine coming through my door each morning beaming their own joy and love and outlook on life onto everybody around them. Being a teacher, I am always looking for those natural moments to teach. I also enjoy creating fun learning activities for them, but sometimes the learning comes from them instead of me. Children haven’t learned to pretend things are good when they really aren’t. How often do we say we are good or fine when people ask? Rather than tell them how we really are we put on a smile and claim to be great. We learned that over time, we didn’t do it as children. Kids don’t pretend they like how it is even when they don’t, they tell it like they feel it; “But I want to do it now”, “It makes me sad when (name) does that”, “But I want to have them all”. They are so honest and much more in touch with their feelings than many adults. In the midst of teaching them that we shouldn’t say unkind things (are they unkind? or honest? sometimes its not so clear), or that we can’t take things from others even if we really really really want them, or that we include everybody in our play, or that we don’t hit our friends for any reason, I find myself wondering why we teach these lessons. Of course I know why, we all do, we live in a society that we like to think of as civilized. We should all remember our manners, follow the rules, and be kind to others; but sometimes it feels like I’m teaching them to deny their own feelings and desires, or at least not be honest about them. Well ok, its not quite that severe, but I get this glimpse of an idea, wanting them to be true to themselves and not forget what it is that they love or that really makes them happy as well as what they really don’t like or what doesn’t feel good to them. Isn’t that how we figure out what to be when we grow up? (or maybe how you should figure it out) How you want to spend your life? How you want to be? (ok, some of us are still figuring it all out ~ I confess to being one) If you lose sight of those feelings how do you figure it all out? We are each unique and being authentic to ourselves is really important. I think doing that without hurting others is a great goal.

 

We Are All Born Artists Almost Everything Kids Do Is Art. – Young- Ha

 

There are a few things in particular that we do throughout our day that really make for happy kids. We spend a lot of time playing outside. Collecting acorns to use as ‘gas’ in their bikes, or digging in the giant sandbox and using rocks to adorn our castle creations, walking and running on the Riverwalk in our town. Of course sunny weather is awesome, then we can break out the water table, but even cold winter days spent outside light a fire inside them and make them come alive. Reading books, which we sometimes do for long stretches of time, is another favorite. We also do a lot of drawing, painting, and making. They love creating their own ideas with paint, markers, crayons, clay, but sometimes they like the soothing repetition of dot markers or crayons on pre-made coloring pages. This year I have noticed a big increase in enjoying painting. Thats my favorite activity so I love seeing them really enjoy it too. The excitement and energy at painting time is awesome! We do some fun handprint art in their journals and that is definitely a favorite. Its also the activity that fed my latest idea.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up. Pablo Picasso

 

I pulled out a big canvas and they put some layers of paint on it with their hands and then added some marks and handprints and whatever else they wanted. They love choosing colors and they work with such freedom, no worrying if it will look just right. If they make it its right, because its the making, not the product. What a great lesson! Brave and true is the hallmark of children’s art. Collaboration is always fun and I think this is going to be a favorite painting, not just fun for them! I love how when the painting is dry they walk by and just run their hands over their work, staying in touch with it literally. Sometimes finger tracing certain parts, its really great!

 

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. Mattie Stepanek

 

You probably are looking for this collaborative painting in my post today, well, stay tuned and I’ll be sharing it in my next blog post! (its not done!) Its really exciting and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! If you follow me on Twitter you have and will continue to have some sneak peaks. (@boldmovesstudio) Don’t forget you can subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss out on any posts. Use the form in the sidebar to the right and add your email and push subscribe. I won’t leave you today with nothing new though. New in my gallery today ~ 2 paintings. Check them out and treat yourself to a little light, love, and happiness!

 

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman

 

Light, love, laughter,

Shannon


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