Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Circles + Polka Dots + Open Ended Art

Polka-Dotted Paintings from Head Start Children: Glorious 'Open-Ended + Process Oriented' Paintings!!

What is it with me and polka-dots??

What is it about me and circles??

I haven't a clue!

They make me happy. That much I know for sure!


Print-Making Paintings from Circular Element in Response to Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham: All things Green!


Here are two different 'circular' art projects that I saw displayed on the walls and in the halls last week in NY during my visit to the Head Start program. I think both are brilliant in every possible way!!!! Look at the excitement and the energy in these paintings!

This work is what art educators are talking about when they talk about "PROCESS" versus "PRODUCT."

Looking at these seven pieces of art above, I can envision each child and their creative process.... the thrill of exploring the materials. Their eagerness to experiment, the enthusiasm of the open-ended investigation: delight, ease, JOY!!!! I think you can actually feel the 'energy' being utilized in the "Green Eggs and Ham" print-making response. Each of these convey to me, the observer, a sense of a child that said, "I can do this!"

In my opinion that's the 'winning response' that we're looking for as educators. We want the process to be so 'open-ended' that whatever the child creates is indeed the right answer. Art is not about 2 + 2 equals the same result over and over. Art is about, the process, the feeling that says: "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!"


Collage of happy elements glued into place in Head Start

YUP! Open-ended art is about the feeling of "I DID IT!!" It's about whatever the child creates being correct.

             Touchdown: "Look at me pound this tube into this paint -- over and over!"
             Slam dunk:  "Did you know I could make all of these circles line up in a row?" 
             Hole-in-one: "I like seeing all of these different colors on my paper."
             Grand slam: "It's so much fun to make all of these marks."
             Gold medal: "Can we do this again?"

Use whatever sports analogy you want. PROCESS art allows for success. It is the very definition of success: "I'm involved in this. I'm making choices. I want these fuzzy pom-pom circles to line up in this exact way. I want them to slither like a snake"

Collage of textured Elements, Glued into Pleasing Design by Child in Head Start

I have a whole pinboard collection at Pinterest filled with circles. Why?

I already told you! Because they make me happy!!

Maybe it's because my grandmother kept a great big tin, full of buttons when I was a child. I remember sitting there and playing with those buttons -- to my heart's content.
Colors & shapes: Process.




Have I mentioned that I REALLY LIKE polka-dots? That's me with my back to the camera below.

This is the ensemble that I created to integrate as many spots + dots as I could find sew, paint, and create. This is me leading our staff developement workshop on Friday last week. 'Dressed' as my first picture book, "You're Wonderful." [Imagine my excitement over finding that piece of happy white dots on the black background!!! That occupies the big focal point. Grandmas buttons all over again.]



The teachers pictured above are among the brilliant wonders that have directed this open-ended, process-driven ART above. THREE cheers!!



+++I LUV LUV LUV the fact that the immediacy of the "Green Eggs and Ham" prints were already displayed on the walls, just a heart-beat after their creation and dated in addition to being labeled. Immediate feedback. Tons of 'extra-credit' for connecting the open-ended process work to a well loved and classic picture book. Literacy + ART.  Win, win, win, win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

******Here's a  favorite post from a couple of years ago I entitled "Deck the Halls" -- way before Pinterest, that combines my love of polka-dotted circles, an open-ended process and yet yields an amazing 'product' painted and sure to please for this time of year...... click here to see the other happy examples. This would make a perfect PreK or Kindergarten Christmas art project + keepsake!!!!


I've added this post to a linky-party at "One Artsy Mama" for the Shine on Friday hop!



One Artsy Mama





This post is also linked up at Playing with Words 365 for Thrifty Thursday.

++++I have now added this post to our FIRST EVER Linky Party over at our Collaborative Blog at PreK+K Sharing on all things PAINTING and Paint related!!! Click on our orange button below to be taken directly to the amazing collection of articles, and Amy's initial + incredible introduction on all things PAINT!!!
PreK + K Sharing

7 comments:

  1. Debbie,

    Thank you so much for this blog post. Creativity is one of the things that I love to see in my classroom. With these little ones, we have to use a lot of modeling. Modeling means that we show them "the steps" that should be used to complete a project successfully. It does not mean "Look at mine and yours should look exactly the same." They should all look different. Let their imagination roll. There is no limit to their creativity, unless WE limit THEM. - ♥ Lidia

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  2. Wonderful fun and creativity! Carolyn

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  3. Lidia + Carolyn: Thanks to both of you for swinging by 'my house' -- I know that we're all working from the same perspective. I'm glad you stopped through to read this particular post!!!

    Here's to supporting the process and watching the creativity unfurl.

    Debbie

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  4. Love the process, not product approach. And love the circles, too! Fun post.

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  5. Love the green eggs & ham stamping! I think polka dots are fun too =) Merry Chrsitmas,
    Beth (TGIF)

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  6. Fantastic post! I also love me some buttons ;) Thanks for sharing at Thrifty Thursday!! Hope you had a fantastic Holiday Season!

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  7. Go Debbie Go! You are the linking queen! I love open ended art!

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