I have always been interested in children's art, and in watching the way that they create and progress from scribbles (or, even earlier than that, eating crayons) to creating recognizable drawings. I often feel stress about Bess' art skills because they seem to lag behind those of her peers - she is still in the scribbling stage while others can write their names and draw things. However, I also feel that she will master those skills when she is ready, and that it is more important for her to explore her creative urges than to perform art in a certain way.
I signed her up for a local art class, more because I like the idea of her being around creative people than because I hope she'll learn some sort of "skills" from it. (I'm still not sufficiently evolved to allow Bess to paint with reckless abandon in my house, but I'm working on it!) So far, I haven't been disappointed - the teachers are wonderful and the projects are sufficiently open-ended that she is free to create whatever she wants. Here are her creations from last week:
and you can read some interesting articles about children's art here and here.