Monday, May 4, 2009

Preschool Mother's Day Card Workshop

Today I conducted a workshop at my daughter's preschool. It was refreshing and fun to teach such young artists. I love watching their chubby little hands assembling the parts. All the pictures I took make me smile but I am only posting a few. The last time I taught at a preschool was way back when my son was in preschool and we did a paper making workshop. The kids had a blast with the water and sponges. Today was more sedate and the preschoolers made Mother's Day cards using a mixture recycled Asian food wrappers.

Below: My daughter showing her creation. She came into this three year old class to help me do the workshop. She handed out materials and assisted. She has been attending my art workshops since she was two years old and perhaps she will retain some memory of the experiences. She is a good helper now and looks forward to handing stuff out and helping other children.

Below: Materials such as chopstick sleeves, plastic sushi grass and Chinese food wrappers made up the flowers.

Yesterday I was at a meeting of an Asian women artists group (AAWAA) up in San Francisco and I learned that quite a few had postponed their art for decades as they raised their children. It is difficult to pursue one's artistic visions while raising children. Being an artist can be quite a selfish pursuit and as a mom it is easy to feel frivolous and guilty pursing one's art. But I believe it is worthwhile to at least attempt to strike a balance being both an artist and a mom. I make chicken soup from scratch when my children are sick, cook every dinner and pick the children up from school and drive them to all their activities, but I am by no means successful in my balancing act! There are times when I know I am too absorbed in my work or feel I am dragging my kids to my various art teaching activities or drag them to some sort of scarp yard for materials. There are times when I am really tired and grumpy in the morning because I stayed up late working. Sometimes being an artist and a mom is a messy intertwined journey. I certainly felt that way this past year.

My father is a toy designer and my fondest memories are of the random and a bit crazy adventures we had related to his unique job. I hope my kids will feel the same about their childhood... that my passions enriched their lives and their perspective on the world. I want them grow never questioning the value of their own creativity and I want them to grow with the desire to give voice their inner thoughts. These were of gifts of my childhood. If I fail at my juggling act here, at least they will have good fodder to be writers and can weave fantastic, absurd and true tales about their crazy upbring! Ah, just reflections as Mother's Day approaches.

I like this child's card below. She received an extra petal and did her own thing. There is no such thing as wrong in art! It looks great.

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