Friday, 1 February 2013

Arty Farty

Eldest learned a hard lesson today about the difference between saving and deleting a piece of work that you think you've finished with!  Hence no pictures here of a completed lapbook (which he was hoping to finish today) - because he has had to repeat some of his work and got a bit discouraged. He's doing well though: he hasn't given up; just slowed down a bit.

We were supposed to be at our local soft play meet-up today, but our car is at the garage having its brakes sorted (they locked up the other day), and I was put off the idea of going on the bus with a bad back and three excited boys by our not-great experiences yesterday.  So we've been at home again.  The boys are now playing happily on the Wii as a thank you from Mummy for not making a fuss about missing out on Soft Play.  Mainly today I've been trying to clear the mess in the study, with the boys helping where they can.  Eldest has also been doing his lapbook, of course - and we did a lovely art project too.  I even liked my finished result for once!  I had found and pinned this Northern Lights Project the other day - and thought this morning it would make a nice cheerful little project to do as we were home.  We had a look at some Aurora Borealis footage on YouTube, and learned a bit from Wikipedia., including the colour being affected by oxygen v nitrogen - and looking up the south pole equivalent (Aurora Australis).  Then we got out our playground chalks and had a go on some sugar paper sheets.  We didn't follow the exact instructions on the link because the boys were just too keen to get stuck in - but they still enjoyed it!



Youngest (it started as the Northern Lights, but ended up as a picture of the car getting stuck when Mummy tried to drive it - it must have made a big impact on him on Tuesday if he's still reliving it!)

I have noticed through blogging that we seem to do a lot of art - and I wondered why that is.  After all, I'm supposed to be rubbish at it - I certainly wasn't allowed to take it at O'level (showing my age there).  I decided it's down to at least two things: firstly, I like it.  In fact, I love it.  I am rarely pleased with what I produce, but then, I don't expect myself to make anything that would qualify as art ("art" in my mind being something that sells for lots of money to people who supposedly know what they're looking at).  However I do love looking at it, being inspired by it, and just the process of having a go - it's creative, fun and therapeutic (although admittedly the clearing up isn't always so soothing).  Secondly, I think part of me is rebelling against being told I wasn't allowed to do it - and that shows itself by my determination that my boys will never hear they are "not good enough".  Now they may never have careers as artists (although Middle is obviously passionate about it - I may need to consider proper lessons when he's older), but that's not the point: right now, I just want them to be free to do whatever they want to do.   As long as they enjoy it, we will carry on painting, chalking, sketching, modelling, pastelling, marbling, collage-ing etc to our hearts' content.  It kind of sums up for me one of the things I dislike about school (being labelled as 'good' or 'bad' at something) and what I love about HE (being free to do something just because you enjoy it).  And by doing as much arty stuff as we do, it's my way of blowing a raspberry at the system that by enforcing some kind of skill evaluation, suppresses all sense of enjoyment.

So on that arty-farty note, I will leave you with Eldest's painting. He was reading one of his Calvin & Hobbes book, and saw a rare cartoon that was drawn almost entirely in black and white.  This inspired him to come and get the paints out for himself and do his own monochromatic picture.  It's called "Birds Migrating in the Winter"  I love the little hedgehog and badger at the bottom - and even more, I love that he saw something he liked, got inspired, and just had a go.  That's my boy!


  1. I love seeing all your arty projects! I also thought I was never any good at art at school, but I love doing creative things now. Although that is mostly confined to sewing, which J is not too interested in!
    R x

    1. Thanks Rachel :) mine aren't much into sewing either, though I reckon they might go for sewing a stuffed toy at some point ;)

  2. fantastic! I love your arty stuff too and get very inspired by it. My problem is that i add it to my 'to do' list with the kids and then we often don't get around to it. I just love your spontanaeity and wish we were more like that. I was totally rubbish at art but have loved joining in with the kids and i guess it is fun for me because there is no pressure or expectation. A couple of my pictures turned out so well that i sent it in with the kids entries into competitions and I actually won (!?) so that was a totally weird experience having been told at school that my art was no good!

    1. thank you BB! I know that feeling - I keep adding stuff onto Pinterest - will take me ages to get round to doing it all! That's a great story about the competition - well done you! Sad though that a whole generation of us seem so convinced that we can't "do art"!