I've talked before on this blog about Owen's art--how she describes herself as an artist, how she will choose art over other activities. One thing I don't think I've mentioned yet, however, is that her favorite, or most used technique, is paper collage. This is nothing new for her, really. Over the last year or so, she has created a number of collage creatures--beginning with the Tyrannosaurus Rex (below) and moving on through butterflies, turkeys, a giraffe named Flower and her baby giraffe, Alice. She's made American flags, a field of flowers with a ladybug in it, and numerous birds, all from cut pieces of paper, glue (or tape), and crayons or markers, sometimes even cardboard.
Lately she's really shown increased creativity and skill with her chosen art form.
I deliberately did not plan much structured activity for the first half of the summer, choosing instead to focus on downtime and family time. As such, we've had many days to fill with play, or art, or whatever moves us. And yes, the children have watched DVDs nearly every day, but not all day. And not to the exclusion of other things, like playing in the yard or working in the garden or running through sprinklers or building castles from the couch cushions or simply blowing bubbles. Or doing art.
Owen, in fact, has been quite prolific this summer with her art. Here are just a few examples of some of the paper crafting she's been doing:
- Barrett one day was playing with a plastic lion and calling it a dragon. Owen decided that what we are missing in our collection is a toy dragon, so she set about making one for her sister. She used a Solo cup, paper, tape, and crayons. After she finished the first one, naming it "Solo" of course, she decided to make a whole herd of dragons, including "Flower Dragon" and "Heart Dragon".
- After the dragons, she moved on to making a flock of birds from the rest of the Solo cups. Cardinals, of course.
- She made a paper person but became frustrated in her attempts to make the person a cardboard chair and have her sit without bending so she threw the person away. I fished her out of the trash, telling Owen that even if she didn't want her I did because I really liked her. That spurred Owen on to making a chair, a bed, a pillow, a sleeping hat, a companion (a man dressed in his "work clothes", meaning a tie), a chair and bed for the man, and a car with a garage to put it in. All of which she taped to my bedside table.
- While we were trying to figure out how to create a chair for the person, above, Owen decided that one of our attempts looked more like a tiny beach chair, so she made an ocean scene on a piece of paper (beach, water, waves) and taped the beach chair to it, then made more beach chairs to sit beside it, taped the whole thing to the living room side table, and placed her Little People people on them. "They're at the beach!"
- She made herself a Princess Crown and arm band.
- She took a small cardboard box I had, took it into her room with the paper, crayons, a scissors, and worked for nearly an hour turning the box into a surprise for me. On the side of the box she wrote "Mom" and she filled the inside with cutout images of my "favorite things" like my favorite flower (daisy), my favorite bird (apparently it's a duck, who knew?), and my favorite food (kumquats, or so Paul told her).
- One day while Paul was mowing, she worked for a while at the kitchen table, then rushed outside with a wooden box and a rolled up paper under her arm. She had made the box a treasure chest (filled with gold coins--little pieces of yellow paper) and she hid it in the flower bed. Then she handed Paul a treasure map and helped him use it to find the chest.
- Today I bought her some craft popsicle sticks. She decided to make a house for Chirp (of Peep and the Big Wide World). In one episode of that show (one we haven't seen in a long while because the DVD is from the library), Chirp decides to build a nest, and so constructs a house on a tree limb. Only Chirp's house is unstable and falls down. Owen wanted to build Chirp's nest "so it won't fall down". It took about 45 minutes of focused work, two rolls of Scotch tape, some tears, and several popsicle sticks, but she did it. She then made a paper Peep, Chirp, and Quack to go in the house. Before she went to bed she promised to make Peep's house and Quack's pond tomorrow.
Oh there's a bunch more. The shark. The owl. The bald eagle and baby eagles in the nest that I featured on another post. The swan family. The duck family. The ladybug with a hand reaching for it. The flower stickers. The rainbow door decoration. The cat mask and tail. The alligator mask. The rhinoceros beetle (seriously, she said that).
Maybe, just maybe, she's another Eric Carle in the making. Regardless, I love seeing her creative mind working. And I'm glad I've given her the space this summer to explore on her own.
She's going to love her art camp next week.