Process Art {Fingerpainting}


You might not know it
but when you let your kids fingerpaint
they are actually learning.
It's an artistic movement called

Process art is basically allowing your child (or even yourself) to explore art, no holds barred
It's all about the process of 
finding out how the materials will move you 
and what you'll be inspired to create

I thought fingerpaint would be the perfect first post for this series
You only need two things:
fingerpaint
fingers

I set out paper at the beginning but by the time the girls were done
they were painting directly on the table

Process art is fun because you can sit back and let little hands do all the work
Though, that doesn't mean you should sit out
Take time to observe how your child thinks through the process
I took note of how C and A worked:
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C (who is four) did a lot of work with the tips of her fingers
A (who is two) mostly used her palms down flat
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A ended up with a warm palette
C finished with a cool blue ocean
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Both girls were completely engrossed through the whole process
there were very little words uttered

Even if you don't get a picture to hang on the fridge,
you're still benefitting through what your child is learning:
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Stimulated Senses: C immediately exclaimed, "It's squishy! It feels just like jelly!"
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Developing Hand-Eye Coordination: I noticed the girls were moving both hands in a symmetrical way, it would be fun to experiment with moving hands in different ways at the same time
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Color Mixing: When swirling around paints, new colors are bound to emerge
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Fine Motor Skills: Squishing paint between fingers will certainly strengthen hand muscles
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Therapeutic: Ruth Faison Shaw, who "re-discovered" fingerpaint and developed it into an art 
education medium, devoted her attention to the benefits of fingerpainting and how the process helps to free the soul
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Fun: No explanation needed for this one!

In the end, it's all about the experience 
and if you suddenly find yourself wanting to jump in on the fun
Go ahead, jump!
Who knows what you'll end up creating

Try some fingerpainting and come back to tell me  about your child's process!


Want to read more about process art? 

Check out these posts:
Art for Children~ Nuturestore
An Art Exploration ~ Teacher Tom
Art and Learning ~ Bernadette Rego








22 comments:

  1. Wonderful post! I love the photos and your explanation of process art :-)

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  2. You inspired me today to finger paint with my baby today... I decided to use pudding with her so that if she put it in her mouth there were no worries. She truly enjoyed it and it was a process that big sister could join in the fun too! THANKS!

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    1. Kim, I loved your post on edible fingerpainting! I'll have a homemade fingerpainting post sometime in the future of this series :)

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  3. I love this! I didn't realize that the laissez faire approach to art had a name- I do this sometimes ( I have no art training or background or skill)- but I do it because I like to watch the evolution from nothing to something. I guess, what I loved watching was the process- which makes perfect sense. At our daughters first art sessions with a local artist (we took her once a week if we could), the artist pulled out some pastels and I was surprised when the artist laid them on their sides to color with. Untrained, I would have held them like a crayon. The sessions weren't for parents to watch but I wanted to observe a session before I started dropping her off. When it was my daughters turn to use the pastels, she did what I would have done, she started drawing with the pastel like a crayon upright. After a few circles, she paused and looked at the pastel in her hand. Then, sh laid the pastel on its side and started rubbing it back and forth. I don't know why. I found that fascinating and thrilling. I was impressed that the art teacher just watched her and didn't correct her even though she had just demonstrated how to do the technique. That session was learning moment for me and so now I sit back and am often hands-off as long as the materials aren't dangerous- just to see where the art will go. Maybe I'm off, but I think that might be unintentional "process art". Great post! Sorry for the ridiculously long comment!

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    1. Thank you CrittersandCrayons! I really love to watch the whole evolution too! I loved that both girls started out with one color and ended up with completely different colors!
      BTW, I love your ridiculously long comment :)

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  4. This is a fabulous post (and the photos are WONDERFUL). It is amazing to just let kids explore the materials and see where they go with it.

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    1. Thank you Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, I agree it is amazing to let kids explore

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  5. Such a wonderful post! It's all about letting children discover things for themselves, and that's why I think process oriented art is so important for kids. I look forward to your future posts in this series.

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    1. I agree, I really think it's important for kids as well, especially the discovering for themselves part

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  6. That's interesting - I noticed that L was really, really silent when she was doing her painting too.

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    1. That is so interesting. I wonder if it's because there is just so much going on in their minds at the moment?

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  7. Funny we just did this last night! Your post describes exactly what I couldn't put into words. Thank you for writing this. My two year old and I had so much fun together.

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    1. I'm so glad you had fun! We love fingerpainting in this house, every time we do it it's always a lot of fun

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  8. I have to say that I really don't like the term 'process' art, because it implies that the finished result is worthless. What I love about the open-ended experimental approach that it embodies, is not just the things you learn from doing it, but the frequently gorgeous results. This is how all artists learn, not just chilldren.

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    1. Thank you for the comment Jude.
      I actually don't think it implies the finished result is worthless. I feel as though the term is really so parents/caregivers don't focus so much on expecting something.
      I agree that the results are frequently gorgeous!
      I also agree that it's how all artists learn, how else would new techniques be discovered!? :)

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  9. I'm with ya!
    I hope you will encourage your followers to pop by my website for free samples from all my books. I think Preschool Art: It's the Process, Not the PRoduct" will appeal to so many.
    Try "Dark Sugar Chalk" http://www.brightring.com/darksugar.html
    or "Texture Table" http://www.brightring.com/textured.html
    My blog is: maryannfkohl.typepad.com/blog
    Come one, come all! And thank you for your wonderful inspiring blog.
    MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author and educator

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    1. Wow! MaryAnn, thank you so much for visiting!!
      I'd love to encourage readers to visit your site, thank you for sharing the link with me!
      Thank You for your wonderful inspiring books!!

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  10. Replies
    1. Thank you Melissa! I have a feeling that the rest of the series won't have as many words as this post, I think the pictures explain it all!

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  11. Absolutely amazing post, Aleacia! You've got some amazing series and you are executing them beautifully. I have to say that this one is very inspiring as well.

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  12. I'm a childcare teacher, so I do often find it useful to have a product to send home to parents. Table painting

    can be a great way to make a monoprint-- just place a paper on the fingerpainted table, pull it up, and you have a neat print!

    (I'd imagine this could be done with something big like wrapping paper as well, though finding a space to dry it could be a problem!)

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