Saturday, March 3, 2012

Recent creations

Ryan has been pretty busy every night as we've stepped up the variety and intensity of stuff that we do with him at home. Now that he has acquired a number of skills (like most children his age), Richard and I have to constantly come up with new stuff to keep him from getting bored. We do a variety of activities, ranging from painting, dancing, basketball, sticker fun, music, pretend play, building blocks, bowling, building train tracks and marble runs, playing with Lego (Duplo), chess, checkers, scrabble, ... the list goes on and on. And yes, we do some "academic" stuff too. 

Unfortunately, I don't have photos of all that we do. We have our hands full and are too tied up with the activities to get the camera out. I'll try to get some shots done, for memory's sake. 

In the meantime, here are Ryan's latest art pieces. Richard is the one who guides him in his art and, from what I see, they've got a routine. They have moved past the stage of getting comfortable with the medium and the equipment. Now, Richard will set out the box of paints in front of Ryan and Ryan will make his colour selection. Richard then gets the selected colour onto the paint palette and Ryan gets down to business with his paintbrush. Ryan knows how to dip his paintbrush in water from time to time, although Richard does prompt him sometimes.  

Generally, Ryan paints whatever he wants and Richard just sits next to him and assists him if necessary. It can be an image of something or it can be just a squiggle that has no relation to anything. Lately, Richard has been giving Ryan some suggestions like, let's paint a hat or let's paint Elmo. Funny thing is that, when he does that, Ryan likes to write the word out instead of painting the image, so sometimes Richard will lead the way by painting the image himself. Usually they will do one sheet in this manner, and Ryan will do a second sheet on his own, painting whatever he wants.

The first two photos here are of the "instructional" sheets, so don't bother to look for any artistic value in them. Apart from testing out ideas of what to paint, these sheets are also used to test the paint colour, paint texture, paint viscosity, the behaviour of the brush and also, as a "warm-up" for the session. 

On the first one, you can see the happy and sad faces again (in yellow paint on the right). The sun on the left is Richard's.

The green squiggle on the right is a caterpillar. The green clown face on the left is Richard's.

The paintings in the rest of the photos are completely Ryan's work, as in, Richard didn't contribute a stroke. I don't know what they are supposed to depict (if anything), perhaps next time I should get Richard to explain them all to me. I do know that Ryan selected the combinations of colours by himself, so it's interesting to see how his sense of aesthetics is developing.

One thing that did impress me is that Ryan appears to have an intuitive understanding of composition - the elements of each piece are placed in such a way that there is balance, and the elements relate to each other such that they unify as a whole. The pieces also give a sense of "completion", ie. you don't get the feeling that something should be added (or subtracted). I'm guessing that most children have this intuitive judgment - as Picasso said, every child is an artist. (The full quote is "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up".)


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