14 October 2005

Artistic Intent

Here's one of my daughter's finger paintings.

It is one of my aims to be a culturally sensitive parent and another to expose my children to a wide variety of artistic expressions. What better way to introduce a child to the arts than through direct involvement making them? Enter finger paint! I love the hands-on, unmitigated access to the medium that finger painting provides. Of course, this is ideal for small children who, in any case, lack the technique for the tools formal painting requires.

So, we added finger painting to the rotation of activities that our kids enjoy. I found out pretty fast that Star didn't get a few essential things about this activity. She wasn't looking at her paper for example. "Look at what you are doing!" I told her. "You can decide where you put the colors and which colors you use. Don't look at me, look at the paper!" I was getting frustrated by this whole thing. And then it hit me. No, she doesn't have to look at the paper. No, she doesn't have to choose where the colors go or which colors she uses. Didn't we cover this in art history in the very first semester? Wasn't the whole Dada movement aimed at denying intent? Didn't the Surrealists love the unconscious because it freed them from having to mean something?

I'm not too sure that the Dada and Surrealism movements actually succeeded in creating art without meaning, or that such artists actually worked without intent. But I have revisited the rules for finger painting in my house.


Jonas said...

You sure are informed about art and art history. Stella (last name here) sure would make a good signiture on some priceless paintings.

I am curious about your work. Will you ever post anything you have done?

Satisfied '75 said...

that is REALLY good. wow, frame it.

Anonymous said...

man, I didn't realize you had your own blog....I like the smooth transition from recipies to art...altough when I saw Warhols Brillo-picture I thought you wanted to inform us that you found your favorite detergent in Lebanon..sorry...that's not art and CHe is not Warhols....he is a thief stealing from a thief...


Mary Ann said...

Dave, I actually don't do art, unless you count participating when my kids color or finger paint. Though I'm not making art, I am thinking about it constantly.

Karin, I'll post more recipe stuff after I get the art stuff out of my system--which might never happen now that I think about it. Hmmmm.

Kate said...

And this is where I wish I had a house surfaced only in tile ... carpeting really, really hinders the creative process in a parent/child relationship.