Guest Post: A First Taste of Art

I am excited to share a series of guest posts with you by other Artful Parents and teachers while I step back from the blog a bit this month! I hope you enjoy the new perspectives, different ideas, and fresh energy that each brings to this space. And I encourage you to leave a comment after the post to continue the discussion, add your own viewpoint, or simply say thanks!

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Guest Post by Lisa Runge

Growing up, my sister and I frequented a local ice cream shop called Every Day’s a Sundae.  On the wall was a framed quotation describing the delight that must accompany the first taste of ice cream.  Imagine the sensation of the cool sweetness hitting your tongue, the confusion of something cold enough to be almost painful, yet truly a revelation to the senses.  And yet, there are few among us who have any recollection of this experience.  And so it is with art.  Many of our formative art experiences are lost to us, or at least they have coagulated into a vague memory of crayons and paste, cut paper and hallway bulletin boards.  

I do not remember my son Elijah’s first taste of ice cream.  It was likely fairly soon after he started on solid foods because he is incapable of allowing others to eat without managing to get a taste for himself.  I knew, however, that I was not going to let his first taste of art slip by so carelessly.  


The date: November 10, 2011 

Age (Elijah’s): 14 months minus 4 days

The materials: A long sheet of paper, taped to the table, and Crayola Slick Sticks Twistables, as recommended by Jean

Elijah wasn’t quite sure what to make of the whole setup.  He tried to lift up the paper, and enjoyed playing with the caps.  I demonstrated how to make a mark on the page, and after that he gave it a try himself.  The Slick Sticks were perfect because he used them so lightly, it is doubtful that a crayon would have made much of an impression.  

Elijahart3 - Copy

I must admit, he seemed to enjoy chewing on the ends of the Slick Sticks and mugging for the camera as much as the art itself, and after about 10 minutes, declared himself “all done” and ready to scoot on to the next activity, which likely involved banging on something with a stick.  Brief though it was, his first artistic moment had been captured to my heart’s satisfaction, added to an ever growing list of “firsts”.   Sweet, a little confusing, but altogether satisfying, it was an ice-cream-taste kind of moment.  Delicious.

Headshot2 Lisa Runge is a teacher-turned-full-time-mom who loves long walks through the city, home cooking, children’s literature and social justice.  Her life has always been full of children, but she is immensely enjoying having one to call her very own.  She blogs about books, food, family and city living at Diary of a Nearly New Mom.

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  • Reply
    Dr. Peg Dunn-Snow
    January 7, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Twistable are a great alternative before introducing traditional crayons to little hands. Loved the similie in the post A sweet moment indeed.

  • Reply
    Aleacia @ Dilly-Dali Art
    January 7, 2012 at 8:15 am

    What a cute little guy! I agree about the first taste of art being sweet and just as important (in my opinion) as all the other “firsts”
    I posted about my child’s first taste of art also, It’s never too early to give them that taste! :)

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle
    January 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Yummy. You captured the moment beautifully to me savored now for posterity.

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle
    January 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

    To BE savored, that is…

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I just did my 8 month old’s first art yesterday, fingerpaint on a canvas board (my three year old also took part) and made sure to get pictures.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Glad to hear that I’m not the only one sentimental enough to try to capture these fleeting moments of early creativity.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    so sweet! thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    January 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I’m a sucker for first art experiences!! I love how you not only captured Elijah’s, but shared it with us so beautifully through your words and photographs. Thank you, Lisa.

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