Daphne’s been drawing up a storm lately. She draws at the easel and on big poster board. She draws on little notecards and post-its. She draws in lined Hello Kitty notebooks.
And when we’re sitting in the car waiting and I don’t have any paper on me, she draws on shopping bags. (And then I hang the bags on our frame wall with all the other drawings and paintings my kids have made recently.)
This is one side of the bag, with seven suns across the top, grass, a decorated logo, and more.
And the other side, with yet another row of suns.
Plus an excuse to show off my purchase—a handbag sewn in Bangladesh from recycled saris. It’s so colorful and happy, I just love it!
I’m not a big shopper and don’t usually get too excited about things or stores, but I have to say I’m excited about this handbag. I went out and bought it from Ten Thousand Villages the same day I saw my friend Jennifer with one.
But I digress.
Back to Daphne’s drawings…
At four she has entered an exciting new phase with her drawing, telling stories with her pictures both while she’s drawing as well as afterward.
She’ll ask me to come see her drawing and start describing what’s going on in the picture. Then says, “Wait! I’m not finished.” and works on the drawing some more. The stories and pictures are fluid and both the drawing and the describing act as further prompts for her as she creates.
For this artwork with marker on poster board, she said,
“I drawed four girls and one boy. All of them skateboarding.”
She points to the skateboards.
“Oh, I forgot the necklaces for the girls. And the gracelets.”
She pauses and draws necklaces and bracelets for all the girls.
“Oh, and it’s raining. How do you draw umbrellas?”
I start to trace a semi-circle in the air with my finger and she says, “Oh, yeah!” and draws umbrellas for each of the kids in the picture. And then goes on to talk about what’s happening a bit more.
The next day she painted a clown skateboarding and when she was telling me about her painting, she said,
“And he’s juggling, too. Oh, I forgot to add the balls!”
And she pauses and adds three balls along each arm.
The act of telling the story of the artwork to me inspires her to elaborate on both the story and the drawing.
I remember and love Maia’s storytelling with art phase (although if I remember correctly, she mostly just told the stories about the artworks after she was finished. I don’t remember her continuing to add to them.)
Daphne also often talks and sings while she draws or paints.
She’ll sing about what she (or the art material) is doing…
“Drip, drip, drop” or “splitter, splatter, splitter, splatter”
Or just sing songs she learned at home or at preschool.
She talks about what is going on in the painting sometimes from the perspective of the artist/creator…
“I’m going to give you hair now. It’s okay.”
And sometimes from the perspective of within the drawing.
Altogether it’s delightful—both the finished artworks and the process Daphne takes to get there.
Do your kids tell stories about, or with, their art?