Monday, September 26, 2011

Lazy Artist

I wish I could inspire Violet to *want* to create something beautiful in Homeschool Art. It's weird....because she's so much like me in other areas, I just assume she is also crafty and artsy. In fact, she is more interested in looking at her pile of markers and stacking them up, opening and closing them than she is in creating something amazing with them.

I drew a picture of a princess in a ball gown this morning, thinking it would inspire her to decorate (one of my personal passions). I used a black marker to create a "coloring book" outline. I laid the marker down and said, "Go get yoru markers and color it beautifully!" I heard her mutter...."I'm just gon' use diss one." I turned around to find her scribbling randomly over the expanse of Dress with the same black magic marker I had outlined it with. I scolded her for being lazy, and letting laziness be her motivation for completing her coloring. Once I reminded her that her favorite colors were, indeed, not black, she got out her tower of markers, and proceeded to poke along with scribbling. I tried to tempt her with promises of glitter on the "necklace", and coax her to pick out colors she thought were beautiful, only got as far as the conversation. She would scribble a little, the whine about how long it was taking and that, "This is such a big dress." I showed her how to lay the marker on its side to get a thicker line, but she resisted, begging me to finish the dress myself!

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? What child does not like to color?? Art was my favorite subject!!

It's been 10 minutes, and her drawing is a mass of scribbled lines. No attempt to make the dress look like a dress. Her attitude over the whole course of the project has been, "Get 'er done." She has now abandoned it, and is playing with her marker tower; each one is a different color, and they're' fighting within and without the tower. "Hey, don't break my neck! Let's be friend!" is the last thing I heard.

I really don't know what to do here...any suggestions?


  1. Give the child some colored blocks, or clay, or tape and crumpled balls of paper, or beads and glue, or pasta and beans and let her make her OWN art :) Maybe she'll be a sculptor instead of a painter... Not everyone loves coloring inside the lines, and not everyone has to.

    This coming from a mom whose kids love nothing better than to spend an HOUR (literally) coloring. But I suspect that Jamie will prove very different, when the day comes.

  2. Brilla doesn't like coloring books. She prefers creating her own stuff. As Herb of Grace said^^, my daughter is a builder/sculptor. (In, fact, she wants to be a framing contractor like Daddy) Constantly creating things from scratch. She doesn't like to add to what someone else has created.

  3. You're very mellow, too. I find it a little humorous that you're "complaining" that Violet doesn't "like" colors when you always choose muted colors, too;) I'm with Lis - she'll find a way to express her creative side -- maybe it's pottery? painting? I don't think markers are the medium of choice at this age (Evie's not so fond of them either, would much prefer paints). She loved music/dance, maybe that will be her more creative side - she'll figure it out in time. I think they all go through stages of interest - most of the time I can't keep up with Evie. We've been through crayons, clay, pencil & pens, markers (a little), colored pencils (a little), and paints (fav!), building materials, sewing, and gluing. I've got pastels waiting along with lots of little kits. Michaels has these great sales where you can get tons of little building kits for like .25- $1 - she made a little train engine last month:)

  4. thanks for following my blog. Great to see you there. Someone gave me two cases of Dr. Peppers, someone else sent me some Tillamook Cheese, and someone else sent me refried beans. I'm doing great with the food now.

  5. Hm. I definitely think you are trying to see your passions in her. I find especially if I "want" something too much, Elyana resists. I have to be a little creative in getting her to do things. For example, she seems to RESENT when I try to teach her letters. No matter how happy I sound, if I teach and drill her (even cunningly) she will tell me, "I don't want to play this" or even intentionally tell me a letter is a different one than it is. :) What I found was she LOVES puppet shows (her animals talking and acting). So now the animals all talk about letters and ask her things - and she will happily learn that way.

    I agree that perhaps Violet isn't a fan of art - specifically not such intentional art. Perhaps she doesn't like coloring for the sake of coloring. Or perhaps like Jenny said, it's markers that aren't fun. But I think if it were my child, she would be feeling how much I "wanted" her to do it, and resenting it.

    I have heard very good things about Herve Tullet's coloring books - read their write-ups.

    Particularly these two:

  6. For sure, kids aren't always like their parents. Sometimes they are like their grandfather or great-uncle or someone else even further back. You have a LOT of engineering on the Howell side. (Also, keen drama and music on the Fetter/Flagler side, which we already know are passions with her.) Even though you and your siblings mostly liked art, there's nothing that says Violet can't be a throwback to the generation that says "Huh,art? What's that? Give me a calculator, a pen, and some mylar." So here's an assignment to test her out: tell her to measure the room and make a diagram of the floor plan with everything in place. Might be too advanced, but one thing is sure: if you find out she eats it up, she's a Howell!