Perfect Artistic Imperfections
Process Art Process art provides an experience that is “child-directed,” “choice-driven,” and based on discovering what can happen when a variety of objects combine with various types of paper and paint. The process of doing the activity outweighs the final product in importance.
Process art enables a child to think creatively and work independently.
The child learns about physical limitations and the possibilities of materials. Critical thinking skills are reinforced by discovering what she can do with various materials.
Motivation and interest often generate many curious questions from children.
Children will embrace experimentation.
Examples of Process Art Activities
Examples of process art activities include making collages with leaves, glue, and thick paper. Placing stickers within a hand-drawn frames. Making handprints and footprints on a cookie sheet with tempera paint.
Possible Items for Process Art Although the materials a child can use for process art seem to be endless, a few commonly used items are listed below.
Paper in various sizes, textures, and color
Sponges cut into a variety of sizes and shapes
Tempera paints in primary colors and white
Squeeze bottles (to hold paint that children can squirt on thick paper or cardboard)
Oatmeal (for texture)
Meri Cherry owns an art studio where she teaches classes and produces birthday parties for toddlers. She also makes the following suggestions.
Keep art supplies in containers that children can access easily.
Protect children’s clothes as much as possible.
Arrange a place for art to dry.
Establish a way for art to be displayed.
Remember that although the result may or may not be beautiful, the emphasis remains on the act of creating.
Model appropriate amounts of glue, paint, or other materials to use, and allow children to experiment.
Do not attempt to teach the child how to create anything specific. Just allow the process to unfold.