Wednesday, March 16, 2011

my patchwork life

I have been a little ill this past week so there has not been a lot of anything going on other than collecting of tissues, which I have left strewn all over the house.

We even had a birthday and there was no flourless chocolate cake. In fact the cake had to wait a day, until I could actually get out of bed. My poor husband, he cooked cleaned bought me tea tried to keep the house quiet, difficult when you have four children, all on his birthday. I was glad he managed to send off two of the kids for the night and next half a day, he needed a break too.

The birthday was just postponed. A caramel slice was the all he wanted... well actually all he wanted was me to relax and take it easy. I made it any way, I am terrible at taking advice. So we sat with friends drank tea ate the slice and played slamwich.
During the ensuing days, there was a lot of trying to lay low. There was one trip to the op shop, Savers actually. I suggest you never visit a large op shop if you are feeling remotely queasy. The endless aisles of brightly coloured clothing, the disarray, the things that usually attract me to such places had me running. Straight for the french bakery for a sit down, a glass of water, some 79 cent Aldi paracetamol, and a latte once I could stomach it. Mmm now that I think of it cheap paracetamol and incredibly strong antibiotics for spider bite maybe not a good combination.

On the days I was confined to the indoors I set my three year old to work on a project. One that would take her a while I hoped, so I thought a big artwork. She has exceptional patience for her artwork, often spending days on a drawing, doing an hour, putting it away, then going back to it the next day. Gee I wish my studio practice was that good.

I thought about the classic giant piece of paper and drawing around her body, giving her paints and letting her go for it. Then I thought about the way she works with paint, the way she uses it like a patchwork. Me and my recently acquired sewing brain thought fabric squares, she could glue them on. This was like heaven to this child, using Mum's fabric scraps and opening a new tube of rice glue.
She spent all afternoon on this, it was wonderful, at times tricky little baby sister wanted in on it too so we made some adjustments to where she could work on it. Baby Circe made several failed attempts to help, but enjoyed her brush and water paint just as much.

Eliza's artwork adorns our fridge pin-board and living space. In Ikea the other day I thought of those beautiful drawings she'd made with coloured pen I wanted to preserve those a little better and show them off. My two older children's works are in various frames or on canvas all around our home.
Their primary school holds an Art fair each year and the children produce amazing work for this particular show. Phoenix my seven year old has done 2 Picasso inspired self portraits which I love they are so expressive. Beatrix my ten year old has done several delicate pen or pencil still lives, these are detailed and intricate and often spur my creativity when decorating.

I feel that children's art work can be placed in amongst bought art, your own art and even given as gifts. Eliza has recently made a piece for our friend who is turning 30 we framed it and are giving it to her as it is picture of her it was done after she took Eliza out to Scienceworks one day. A wonderful gesture and all her own initiative.
still life with still life
I framed several of her works the other day and gave them pride of place above my bargain-corner metal locker which houses all my sewing stuff in our dining kitchen space. and I believe in providing children with good art materials, canvas, paper and lots of it,we always have an Ikea roll of newsprint. Some materials we use include permanent marker, pen, fine-liner, tempera paints, watercolour blocks alphabet and number stamp blocks.

My children have almost never been too young to scrawl on a bit of paper, as soon as they could grasp, a crayon was usually in their hand. Art is a an amazing creative outlet for any child, their imagination can transcend the pages on which they leave their mark to later remind them of their innocence and wonder.

1 comment:

  1. My girls love to draw, paint and glue, it is a little rainy here today so we have already discussed doing a collage today, usually we collect bits and peices from the garden and glue and stick for hours...Today however, if you don't mind, I may just borrow your patchwork portrait idea...I think it's FANTASTIC!!! I can already see them hanging up in thier rooms...thanks for sharing...Wonderful idea!