Hello no one and everyone. My name is Jean Van't Hul and I am mom to a 2 1/2 year old girl, Maia. It's the beginning of a fresh new year and seems a good time to begin the blog I've been thinking about. I'm calling it The Artful Parent and plan to write about the intersection of art and parenting.
While I'm no expert on either art or parenting, I organize a weekly Toddler Art Group which has allowed me to witness and to be a part of the art experiences of several children. Every Wednesday for the past year and a half my daughter and I have invited a group of toddlers and parents into our home studio (aka large laundry room with easy-to-clean cement floors) for art activities ranging from drawing and collage to making playdough and painting on canvas. When we started, the toddlers were each about a year old and many of them put their crayons, and even their paintbrushes, into their mouths as much as they drew or painted with them. Now they make collages and multimedia drawings, and many of them have begun to carefully fill their paper or canvas with paint. I have written an article (Small Hands, Big Art) about this group for Mothering magazine.
In this blog I plan to write about the Toddler Art Group, about my daughter's art experiences, and, above all, about my attempts to parent in a way that encourages creativity, art, curiousity, and learning.