Inspired by Lauren Child

>> Monday, June 30, 2008

Every night Jo goes to bed a couple of hours before we actually expect her to go to sleep. She listens to audiobooks, colors, plays with clay, does some French knitting, reads, etc. I tell myself that it's important for her to have this quiet, self-reliant time before going to sleep - but if I'm being really honest I admit that it's for my own sanity.

So last night she comes trotting out of her room to tell me about an important discovery she has made. "Look at this Mommy! Lauren Child did this drawing with crayons! See? You can see where she went outside the lines here a little bit! But it doesn't feel like crayon [she's rubbing the surface of the page here]. And look at this picture - this one is cut out of fabric! But it doesn't feel like fabric! How does she do that?"

Be still my heart. She's looking at the work of one of my favorite artists and trying to figure out how she accomplished it. I'm giddy - and very tempted to pull out the art supplies right then and there - but it's after 9 pm and I do try to be a responsible parent - so I tell her it's a collage done on the computer and - if she wants - we can make one together tomorrow. We both go to bed happy.

The first thing she asked me this morning was when are we going to start our collage. I told her I had to work, and then we had to put in some insulation, but then we could do the collage. Collage time came and we decided to make some butterflies - inspired by the ones in Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies - Lola's favorite book. Jo noted that those butterflies are made from fabric so we hit the scrap basket, cut out wings, glued them down to white cardstock. Closer examination of the butterfly bodies showed that they were just "squiggly, scribbly black lines" so we drew bodies, cut them out, and glued them down. The antennae were just drawn on.

The came the magic. We scanned in Jo's butterflies, then cut them out using the lasso tool in Photoshop - leaving a bit of white around the edges just like Lauren Child. We pasted them into a picture from a day spent photographing flowers at Jo's school. We resized them, rotated them, and duplicated them, and Jo had a great time moving them around on the page. She made the butterflies fly to each flower and sip nectar, and then got them all grouped together to greet the caterpillar - the last addition to the picture. She finally decided on an arrangement she liked and you see the results above. Click on the picture to see it bigger - it's very cool.

This was LOTS of fun and Jo already has plans for other pictures she wants to make this way. I can't wait to see them!

You could easily do this as a traditional collage without using the computer, but Jo didn't want to cut up her butterfly pictures and I wanted to show her how the artist did her work.

Want to see Lauren Child's books? They're all fabulous but some of our favorites are I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, But Excuse Me That Is My Book, and I Am Not Sleepy and I Will Not Go to Bed. I covet The Princess and the Pea, but I don't own it. Yet. I own it now and it is wonderful.

1 comments:

Kitt July 1, 2008 at 3:38 AM  

Wow! That's really creative and fun! And gratifying to know the apple doesn't fall far, I'm sure.

Beautiful work1

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