Friday, August 26, 2011

The story behind the scribbles

What do you see when you look at these pictures?

What you see is probably different depending on whether you are a teacher or parent, have an art background or a technology background (for instance), or even what your expectations are of preschool art.

When the 4 1/2 year old artist showed me this series of drawings she created, I was probably more blown away by them than she expected.  I was totally taken by the thoroughness and intentionality that I saw in her scribbles. This child is totally capable of representational drawing and in fact has taken a liking to drawing bad guys in cages!  So what's the story behind the scribbles?  I can only tell you what I see, not having been there when these were created:

  • The use of space tells me that she is very thorough (and some suggest that the more space used on a page, the more self-confidence a child has, although I have no research to back that up)
  • The process was so satisfying that one color sufficed for the entire first three items produced.
  • She used large muscles and fine motor muscles (these were done using crayons, which challenge the fine motor skills more than markers)
  • She did these by quickly moving the crayon across the page, and the force of the crayon on the paper made the paper fold in on itself but that didn't stopt he completion of her work and she still filled up each paper and obviously by the wrinkles it didn't happen very many times.
  • I notice how few times she ran off the paper, even though the crayon was moving fast (I didn't see her doing it but the lines are definitely the quality of those which were drawn quickly).
  • She did four pictures!
I trust the kids ability to choose activities that they need in preschool. I believe children work through social and emotional stuff through art and creative play, and I also believe they challenge themselves with these activities, which I believe this child was doing.

If you are not impressed by this child's art series, please go get a crayon, and as fast as your arm will move, color a full page and make sure that crayon gets right up to the edge of the paper before you change directions.  Oh, and use your left hand, because that's a little closer to what it feels like for the child to use their dominant hand : )

So I've given my hypothesis of the story.  I wonder what her story was?

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