LEARN THE ELEMENTS. I’ve posted on seeing our world and the importance of process; this week let’s talk about some fundamentals by which all art and design is made--things you can look for when you look around you. I’m talking about the elements of design: line, color, shape, form, space, value, and texture. Start looking for these things when you observe the world, and observe the world with your children: notice the arch of your baby’s mouth (that’s line); the purple of the mountains as the sun sets (color); quilt squares (shape); the rounded curve of an egg (form); birds flying (positive space) against the sky (negative space); the white of the sun on a tin roof or the darkness of a shadow (value); or the smoothness of silk (texture). Everything we see can be deconstructed into these elements, and they are your tools for communication and expression--the language of art and design. Talk about these things when your child is creating. Explore different line quality: organic, geometric, thick, thin, broken, continuous, sharp, broken. See what you can find that is a line--a stick is a good example--and see what you can “draw” by putting many of them together. Practice exploring shape by making compositions with cut paper. When you start viewing the world as the elements of design, you are on your way to expressing what you see--and think and feel--through art.