Monday, October 12, 2009

Guilt Free and Artistic

Though some might call me crafty (in more ways than one), no one would ever use the word artistic in a list of adjectives describing me. One of the major art mediums we use around here is cutting out shapes and gluing them to paper to create faces, dogs, trees, fairies, etc. I can handle shapes and it is the perfect project for young children.

I just discovered an incredible way to make these projects even better: Magazines. Using a blue sky to make eyes, hair for hair, garden scenes for fairy wings, a tomato for lips, all the colors of the rainbow for clothing, glossy skin (which is in quite an abundance in even the most boring of magazines) for noses, ears, legs and arms. The possibilities are endless: A leather chair for the boxcar of a train or a puppy, a wheat field for a sunshine. Don't forget gum wrappers for wands and stars and paper bags for tree trunks.

The results are really quite artistic if you ask me. It gives the simple project a depth and beauty, and though it is still probably considered an abstract work, it has a realism not managed by the use of plain old construction paper.

It is also good for the conscience. As we are bombarded by requests to be "green" and to save our planet from every angle under the sun, you can feel good about reusing paper and perhaps saving the trees. Having your children do such a project will allow you to continue to use more than one sheet of toilet paper guilt free.

We have just completed a gorgeous fairy with a combination of green and fall colored wings, flowing blond hair and a dress with a beautiful purple bodice and sleeves. Now I am can go and finish my fall cleaning, filling my trash cans with mounds of junk to put on the curb this week sans the normal guilt I am forced to feel by the amount of trash generated by a family of six.

Who would have thought a simple art project designed by an utterly non-artistic, ultra conservative could accomplish so much beauty and good in the world by 9:00 am.

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