Collaborative Creativity with my Niece
I had the company of my seven year old niece this week and prepared a canvas and purchased some acrylic paint pens so that we could work on a piece together and see what came about via collaborative creativity.
The canvas was a piece of work I had done over ten years ago and I had already made the decision that it needed a coat of paint and perhaps giving to someone who could make better use of it. After it had leant against the wall in the kitchen for the best part of a week I then had an idea.
I found a sample pot of house paint which provided a good covering to the existing image. My niece likes reading, singing, writing and talking. Words are her thing. So I tore some pages from an old Elizabethan Dictionary I had found in a charity shop and applied them with some PVA glue to the canvas. I used pages with L words, such as love and like and included a reference to her own name.
Drawing in the Garden
It was a lovely day so we used the patio table outside and set ourselves up to work together. I have never used acrylic paint pens before, and following the simple instructions we soon got the paint to flow from the felted nibs. And then we were off.
The paint flowed just like a large felt-tipped pen. It worked well over the paper surface. We made experimental marks initially. My niece wanted to try every colour in the packet – as would any young child. There were no rules, no pre-planning and no copying from books or magazines. Just simple collaborative creativity.
My niece likes rainbows. They have special meaning for us as a family and it was wonderful to watch her take up the pens and draw right across the canvas with confidence telling me that it was a rainbow. We had flowers, dots and spots, circles and spirals. We had fun. We chatted. We worked across each other and we turned the canvas around. We stopped for lunch. We returned to the work again later in the afternoon. Then we walked hand in hand to the park to play on the swings and slides.
My niece considered the work complete. She took it home to show her family. They all loved it and it will be displayed on a wall space in her bedroom.
To mark our collaborative creativity I wrote the title “Drawing in the Garden” onto the canvas and added the date.