Mr. Battista's Art Newsletter

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"Creativity is intelligence having fun"

                                                                                   Albert Einstein


Through this newsletter, I hope to provide you with some strategies and some resources to help foster creativity in your children. In recent years, video games, television and other electronic media have impacted the amount of time children spend developing their artistic skills, fine motor skills and their imagination. I would like to share with you some tips to have your children "unplug" for a while and do some hands on activities that will not only be beneficial, but fun.



"Imagination is more important than knowledge"

                                                                      Albert Einstein


Children need to know facts and figures, but once the information has been memorized , the real evidence of learning takes place when a child can use the knowledge effectively in a creative way. The arts fosters creativity, self-expression, problem solving and the ability to" think outside of the box".

The ability to think creatively is not only beneficial to those who want to pursue a career in the arts, but is useful to many  occupational fields. Medical researchers often state the need to think creatively to solve problems. Educators need to present their material in creative ways. A mechanic and carpenter  needs to use their imagination to often solve problems and building issues.


"Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

                                                                                             Albert Einstein


Here are some suggestions for making the arts a part of your child's life.


A) Create a display area for your children's artwork.

It can be as simple as a few magnets to hold your child's newest "masterpiece" on the refrigerator, to hanging a  cork board  display panel on a wall . My wife and I framed a few of our children's pieces of art and have had them proudly displayed in our home for years.  By displaying your student's work, you will show them that you value their efforts. I know that my own artistic development was strongly supported by my parents' encouragement and interest in my creative work.


B) Storage Solutions.

Through the years my wife and I struggled to find room to display and save all of our children's' artwork. A simple solution is to take digital photos of your student's favorite works of art and store on a computer or digital frame. A digital frame can be programmed to create a "slide show" of multiple images. The piles of artwork can then be discarded.

I suggest that you organize your digital photos of your child's artwork by year. It is fun to look back and see the growth that your child has achieved over the years.


C) Time Management

A child often says that they do not have time to practice their artwork at home. I usually ask them if they watch TV. Most say yes. I suggest that they set up a sheet of paper and drawing supplies  while watching TV. During the commercials, I tell them to work on their drawing. If a child watches an hour of television a day, he would have over two hours of drawing opportunity a week!

I also suggest bringing a sketchpad in the car during long trips. They can illustrate their family vacation or create a drawing of their favorite activity.


D) Supplies

State of the art supplies and new art gear is wonderful to have, but great things can be accomplished with the basics.  Because I was drawing so often as a child, my Mom would often run out of art supplies for me. In a pinch I would used the back of school notices, scrap paper and the blank part of a Stop and Shop brown paper bag!


E) Simple Suggestions For Cooperative Learning


Here are a few ideas for you to use in order to draw along with your child. It can be a great motivator and can foster a great bond between parent and child. I still recall the hours that my Dad would sit with me and we would sketch together.


Draw/ Swap:  A parent makes a quick line on a sheet of paper. The child has 15 seconds to add to the first line in order to create an image. The paper is then handed back to the parent for him to add more to the drawing. This give and take fosters creativity, problem solving  and flexibility.


I'm Thinking of a Shape:  A child draws one line. A parent tries to guess what the child is drawing. If incorrect, the child draws another line . The parent takes a second guess. The process repeats itself until the parent correctly guesses the subject. Roles can be reversed and the parent can draw while the child guesses.


Family Murals:

My father was a teacher and guidance counselor when I was growing up. I used to visit his school when my elementary school in West Haven was out on break. He often did group murals in his classroom. For the holidays, we would often work together on a large mural depicting a special season , holiday or sports team. My mom was kind enough to let us use her tile kitchen wall to hang the artwork up for a few days. As a kid, I really enjoyed working with my Dad. As a parent of children now off on their own, I really cherish the time that we had together enjoying a creative activity. Time goes by too quickly.



"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them".

                                                                                       Albert Einstein


F) Resources


Here are some suggestions for things to do on  a rainy day. Many of the museums (The Yale Art Gallery and the Yale  British Museum of Art ) are FREE!  It will cost less than taking your child out to the movies.

Here are links to the museums web pages.

I suggest going to the Yale University Art Gallery . It has a great collection of art ranging from modern, renaissance , African, Asian  and impressionist art. There is also an American wing that would interest those learning about American history in their classroom.


Yale University Art Gallery


Yale Center For British Art


New Britain Museum of Art


Creative Arts Workshop

For those who are looking for art classes , I suggest the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven. Many of the students that I teach privately have attended the CAW and have enjoyed their programs.


"It is the supreme art of the teacher to  awaken the joy in creative expression and knowledge."

                                                                      Albert Einstein


Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with your kids, They are truly the best!


Mark Battista

Art Teacher

Pagels School