Enjoying art isn’t simply a matter of admiring others’ works nor of creating “practical” results: it includes making your own projects for the fun of it, and exploring your own ideas without concern for how “beautiful” or realistic the result looks. Creating your own art is a means of relieving stress and expanding the mind—and it’s good for you in many other ways.
Children are naturals at creating for the sake of creating. You can share in their uninhibited love of the process by making art a family activity. Here are a few ideas:
1.Copying a Coloring Book
“Just coloring” preprinted pictures may be a popular relaxation activity, but it’s not all that creative, since it uses predetermined images and lines. Why not go a step beyond? Remove a page from a coloring book, tack it up as a model; then give everyone pencil and paper, set out colored pencils, and sit around a table to draw and color your own versions of the original picture.
2.Sketching from Life
Distribute sketch pads and pencils and head for the nearest park. (Bring along a picnic lunch if you like.) Sit on a bench together and let everyone draw what they please, as surroundings inspire. Take turns explaining your pictures to the group.
Use three or four colors of paint and a paper big enough for everyone to work on at once. Set everyone—including yourself—free to be as messy as they please.
4.Painting a Mural
This is the “group” version of painting on individual easels. Hang up a paper big enough to cover most of a wall. Give everyone a smock, paintbrush, and access to a set of watercolors or poster paints; then let everyone decorate his or her own section, freestyle. (For a less messy but more temporary version, use markers and a jumbo-size whiteboard.)
Vote on a theme—for example, “rainforest,” “city street,” or “playground.” Set out containers of modeling clay and a card-table-sized “base.” Let everyone model figures to fit the theme. Together, arrange the figures on the base to form one huge three-dimensional picture.
The classic newspaper-and-paste activity—although with paper news getting rarer these days, you may have to buy “newsprint” paper at a school-supplies or art store. If you don’t want to buy glue as well, you can make an acceptable substitute from equal amounts of flour and water. Tear the paper into strips, dip strips into the paste, and wrap them around frames (wire assemblages, clay constructions, boxes, or even inflated balloons) in two or more layers. Let the sculptures dry, then decorate or paint them. Arrange everything together for a giant table centerpiece.
7.Public Art Studioor Join Us At Our TABStudio 600
There are many places, open to the public, where you can create your own pottery or other art from materials provided by the studio. Make a family outing of it, stopping for dinner or a treat afterward!