Creativity is central to the Reggio Emilia Approach; creating an environment which allows children to express their thoughts, ideas, understandings and interests through art whilst using authentic materials and tools. While I am still learning how to use the materials myself, not at all being a great artist, I do enjoy watching Jack create and seeing him become more and more comfortable with a medium as he learns how to manipulate it to create his artwork. In this case I put out some watercolours in autumn tones along with some leaves, a few seed pods and some rocks. Having the natural elements there allows Jack to connect his understandings and provokes new questions and discussions. I don’t tell him to paint leaves, I simply set the table and see if he is interested.
He isn’t always but in this case he was. Interestingly though he painted some leaves initially like the ones above, focussing on the veins but then used the green paint to cover the paper and then painted other colours over the top. I don’t think he was intentionally painting a picture, rather just experimenting with the colours. And this was ok. Whilst he is able to show his growing understanding of the leaves, he is also learning more about how watercolours work, how they blend to create new colours, how they pool together; he’s learning about the process. It’s all about the process.