Van Gogh’s Starry Night recreated with 7067 dominoes (by FlippyCat). It took him 11 hours to build (and a couple of attempts) – and it only takes 10 seconds to fall. But it is worth it:
Vincent van Gogh painted over 800 paintings in less than 10 years. He was so passionate that sometimes, he did not sleep for couple of days just to finish a painting. Other times, he did not eat much because he spent all of his money on art supplies. He put a lot of himself and his feelings into his work – making it very personal and intense.
Show kids his beautiful Sunflower paining and then give them each an orange/yellow circle. Explain the difference between short/long brushstrokes:
Then show them the parts of the flowers and discuss them (seeds/petals… their shape). After the kids spent some time exploring the flowers, let them use brown short strokes (for the middle – seeds) and long yellow strokes (for the petals). Let each kid create one sunflower and put them all in a big vase, along with some green tissue paper. Done.
Create a simple, collaborative project with the kids – inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
Let each child create one petal of the flower: by gluing the different yellow/orange pieces of paper, fabric and foam onto it. Then put all of them together to make one big sunflower (or several smaller ones) for a class decoration.
You can even glue real sunflower seeds into the middle. It’s a great fine-motor skill exercise and you can use the time to explain the different parts of the flower to the kids.
Never let any doubts stand in your (or your kids’) way… to creativity. Schools teach our kids that there are right and wrong ways of doing things. That’s true and valid – but not when it comes to art. Unfortunately, may teachers (and students) do not see the difference and feel that they are bad at painting because they cannot replicate the picture their friend did. That is not art. That is not creativity… and it is certainly not an easy to express yourself when you constantly fear failure.
Do not praise your kids for the picture they did. Praise their effort, the colors they selected or the time they spent working on it. If you say: It is the best picture ever! Why would they try to beat it? It may make them feel like the bar is so high they will never reach it again, so why bother…? Try saying: I love the colors you selected. Those are really long lines. Wow, your brushstrokes are full of energy… and see if it frees them to express their creativity in new ways. It certainly can’t hurt it.