Friday, March 20, 2009

Her Creativity Runneth Over

Ellie might just be the most prolific four-year-old artist in the world.

She paints. She colors with crayons. She stamps. She cuts and glues. She dabbles with colored pencils. The girl loves to create.

Most projects are elaborate and have a two minute explanation behind them (i.e. " . . and this is my friend Maggie on a hang glider with a watering can . . ."). She rarely leaves any white space on the page (more is always better according to Ellie).

Her creative overflow isn't limited to home. According to her preschool teacher, Ellie would sit all day and make bead bracelets if she were allowed to. She stuffs her take-home folder full of drawings and marble paintings and punch out hearts.

On top of all of this, I enrolled her in a weekly art class -- adding to our already large art collection.

She. makes. so. much. stuff.

And I don't know what to do with all of it.

I find it hard to throw any of her work away -- even if it is just a half-finished, crumpled picture of our family (of which there are many). I look at each thing she makes as being representative of a "phase" that we will want to look back on and remember later.

Right now, she is still in the phase where people's legs and arms come out of their heads -- no bodies (I adore this phase). She has also started adding very dramatic-looking eyelashes to her drawings of girls (makes me nervous). And most every picture includes a flock of birds because her Nana told her that the easy way to draw birds was to make a "V."

So her artwork is all over our house - in piles, hung on cabinets, strung from display lines, tacked to bulletin boards.

Her creative outpourings have led to a lot of clutter, but I know that I am not going to look back through my bins and bins of saved artwork and think, "I sure wish that I threw this away."


Megan Murray said...

I need more artwork for my desk at work!

Kerry said...

Check out you can scan or take pictures of all the artwork and create a hardbound book of all of Ellie's artwok. I have bins of Gavin's work and am intending do make a cool coffee table book for him....all in my spare time!

The Hen said...

Kerry, I love the idea of using blurb to chronicle all of the masterpieces Ellie creates. I was also thinking about making Colin's baby book using blurb.

Patty said...

Of course, I collect everything (as you know) and can't bear to throw stuff away that the kids have made, but I have been told that digitally photographing artwork, school projects, science projects, awards, etc., etc., is the perfect way to remember everything that your children have done over the years. Eventually, their skills increase, and the beloved art pieces do need to move on to other pastures. I love the Blurb book idea - maybe a yearly event. But if the book is overwhelming, just having scanned photos in small collections by year will be a wonderful memento to enjoy with your kids in the future. -Patty

The Hen said...

I love all of these ideas! I take pictures of all sorts of other things -- why not photograph her masterpieces as well. Thanks Patty!

Patty said...

I couldn't resist two more ideas. It occurred to me that photographing the artist with the works occasionally would also be a great way to relate the artist and her work with a time in her life and how she looked at that particular time. I also bet that she will remember more about creating it and how she looked and felt when doing the project when she looks back at herself in the photos years from now. The best idea I had, however, was given to me by a friend when we home schooled our twins. Plan an art show/opening of her artwork. Have the artist help select the best pieces (good learning experience) and then help her matte, mount, frame, pedestal or ??? for the chosen works. Then choose a location in your house to turn into a mini art gallery. Help her design and send invitations to special interested friends and relatives, and then help her plan and make the hors d'oeuvres, punch, etc., and celebrate her skills with a wonderful, dress-up art show. Lots of life lessons in the planning, and such a proud event for her that will place more value on her work. Maybe even an annual event. Have fun! -Patty

The Hen said...

Ellie would love the art exhibit idea -- that would also be a fun idea for a kid's birthday party. Each kid could bring/or make a piece of art and then they could display them in their "art gallery" and the parents could come at the end to admire the work and have a cupcake.