create (with kids): negative space | FreshlyPlanted

create (with kids): negative space

Sometimes my independently minded three-year-old gives me the honor of creating a project alongside her. While there are often many directives to follow- "Mama, use that yellow not this one." "Mama, paint something over here."- it's helpful for me to glimpse into how she creates with others. And also gives me a fruitful glimpse into how I create with her. For this artwork she began with glittery hand prints (see more about glittery finger paint, here). Then she asked me to join her...

and I began to paint in the spaces left in-between. She wondered what I was doing, and I explained to her that I was painting in the negative space. I explained her hand prints are positive space, where a picture is. And that the space around the picture is called negative space. 

So then she began painting in the negative space too. Painting around the hand prints and in-between the fingers. Adding her own designs to the paint with her fingernails.

Until it was done and ready to be displayed. While I worked alongside her I wondered, Am I really as hands-off as I aspire to be? Do I let her dictate the process and materials? Do I interject words where there should be silence, a sentence when only a word or two is needed? The same questions that usually go through my mind as I watched her little hands move across the paper. Questions that continue to help me grow as a teacher, and as a Mama too. 

Cassidy Sevier

Cassidy used to teach in the city, now she homeschools three active kids in the woods. She spends her days reading aloud, crafting, getting lost in nature, and refilling her teapot. Her best parenting advice: You should never give kids more water or glitter than you're willing to clean up! Read more about their learning adventures at Freshly

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