Apprenticed Art


I’ve been spending extended weeks & months with one of our little Princesses who is now a very knowledgable four and a half years old.  My goodness how that time has flown.  Having had restricted reign in my art studio since she was born, she is very happy surrounded by ‘things’ to

Hey Nonna - what IS this white stuff anyway? (16mths)

working on first collage

create with.  Her first experience with PVA was very tactile as you can see from the picture.  Her mum & I were talking in the kitchen & realised she had disappeared…….such a funny memory of discovering her – covered in PVA……much to my daughter’s horror – MY first instinct was to grab for the camera – I AM SO glad I did.   The first collage she made just before she was 2 years old is one of my most valued treasures.  Over the weeks of February, we have been creating some ‘larger’ projects that have been far more intricate than miriad of little notes & drawings & paintings that appear as a part of her imaginative play of the day. 

1st collage (23 mths)

We have spent time discovering the different look & feel of various mark making tools – pencils, crayons, stamping & she has experimented with watercolour and acylic paints.   I don’t have any inflated dreams of her being a famous artist – I am just enjoying the pleasure of nurturing her own passion to create – what ever form that might take, now & in the future. 

We have played with creating colour wheels & I found this site had a great range of free resources that were easy to print out & use. (keep in mind if you are adding any kind of wet media, the print out needs to be lazar copy so it doesn’t bleed).  Kinda Art & Deep Space Sparkle are a couple of my fav sites (although the activities are for children a little older – I can usually adapt it).

The day she discovered sticky tape – about 9 months ago – a bit after she turned 4 years old – we had been ‘working’ in the studio and she said – Nonna, can I have my dinner in here – I don’t want to stop working in the ‘shhtudio’ (as she says it).  It was a first indication of a growing passion, which excited me almost as much as the priceless comment.  It is now common place for her to wake up & head straight for the studio, or for me to find her there, at her ‘desk’ drawing or colouring & sometimes painting (although I still enourage supervision for this)  – sometimes she just gets everything out herself.  At Christmas I bought her the whole range of Imaginisce – Enchanted Collection – Snag ’em Acrylic Stamps for her & she is JUST getting the hang of how to use acrylic blocks with a clear stamp. (you can get them from for about $1!)

I feel compassion for the generation of women who are ‘choosing’ to have their children so late in life, that not only will they not enjoy them as adults, but they will not ever experience the joy of grandchildren.  It is an amazing pleasure and joy, sprinkling delights & sunshine through the day like glitter – you don’t know when the sun is going to ‘catch’ it and you are bathed in sparkles.  Like these recent little conversation starters:

‘I am very busy today Nonna, I am going to have 18 babies and they are JUST about to be born!” (hmmmm…….sounds like a busy day to me! LOL!)

Girl discovers Sticky Tape (4 yrs)

(I was reheating some left over Indian food for lunch & she commented) ‘I don’t like Indian food – I just like the yarn (nann – bread); not the saucy stuff’

Nonna could I please have some Mangoes  on my mosquito bite’ (mistaken for ‘Stingoes’ – bite relief)

& excitedly recounting our shopping trip to the local shopping centre – ‘Poppa we used the alligator (escalator) to go up stairs!’

One of my proudest moments recently was when she told a complete stranger…… “My Nonna is an Artist – and I am one too.”

Anyways – I began this post some time ago & was determined this morning to finish it BEFORE I went to bed – & it’s 2am THE NEXT morning!…. all of this rambling I am doing about my grandaughter is all to say – it’s never to early to share your passion to create – start with a colour wheel! Colour is SUCH fun to share! (see the tab at the top of the page)

Mermaid - 26in long

WIP fairy - 30ins


4 responses »

  1. Congratulations on your inclusion in Seth’s Style File! I loved your submission. It actually looks very much like I woman I used to know! Crazy similarities… best wishes from germany, tj

  2. I’m here via Seth – And I have to tell you – Your introducing a four year old child brings back fond memories of my own childhood. My father the sign painter began teaching me to clean his brushes on butcher paper at the age of five. I’ve never stopped. I was hooked! Your grand daughter will be thrilled for life!

  3. I love this post! It reminds me of Quincy when she was little…how she loved to art with Mam-ma…and how much I loved arting with her! I have been doing zen-doodles with Autumn every Sunday and it has been such fun. I had made up some little 4×4 inch drawing books with scraps of cardstock and drawing paper and put nice covers on them for the grand-kids. She loves to draw in hers. Then a few weeks ago I showed her how to do zentangles. So now we have this little game. One of us draws a tangle and adds the first element. Then the other person adds to it, and we keep passing it back and forth until it is full of designs and she decides it is DONE. It is great fun and she is getting to be a good little artist. She loves to draw flowers and leaves most of the time, but last week she drew a big spiral and said, “draw a jewel”…so I drew a gemstone. No, that wasn’t right she informed me. “Draw a ring, or bracelet or necklace!” Oh, a JEWEL. So then we had a spiral swirling around filled with all the pretties that little girls love!

    She is learning to read a little and when we are at church we have to point to the words in the hymn so she can keep up and sing along. Sometimes she can point to every word as we sing. It is precious! She will be 6 in June. And like you I keep wondering, Where did the time go?

  4. Oh, I loved this post! The things your precious granddaughter says are so cute! I can really relate, since my 2-1/2 year old grandson spends so much time with me. He loves to stamp, color with pencils and play with the glue stick.

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