About canvases suggested to young children
The artwork substrate accumulates all created upon it.
The substrate is the womb’s process.
It contains a metaphorical relationship like a mother and baby.
Artwork created upon different kinds of paper, wood, or canvas holds a specific spiritual and mental meaning that supports and resonates with the process and the final object.
Each material comes with a history, even if we can not express it in words.
The body feels it.
Hence, I want to draw attention to what it means to suggest a canvas to young children.
Stretched canvases carry memories of western art history; Rembrandt, Picasso, and Frida Kahlo peek at us. Thus, suggesting them to young children encompasses a comparison message and expectations that may curb the art process.
Here I give you something very expensive and special, so your work must be excellent; otherwise, we’ve wasted it.
I have noticed a tendency to provide canvases in kindergartens and schools. I find this problematic because it immediately floods tension with expectations and achievements.
Even if a child does not know this yet, the teacher or therapist does, and the subtext meaning permeates. And so, if you’re an educator or an art therapist, you’re supposed to have a clear understanding of your relationship to canvases.
Canaves glued to cardboard are less related to our collective historical memory. It is a late invention that was probably created to make it more efficient in price and space.
Children need paper and cardboard as surfaces.
On the other hand, it has a metaphorically dim equivalent of iconic paintings on wood on which thin fabric was sometimes stretched. That is, our personal history affects the use and choice of material.
There are special situations in which I had patients and students who did work on canvas because it was a real and conscious need.
So every teacher and therapist should be aware of this subtle phenomenon and adapt it to the creator’s genuine needs.