My children really enjoy anything to do with painting and art. Whether this is because of the modelling they receive from their very talented artistic father (it certainly isn’t from my side of the family), or just an inherent desire to create…….they are forever wanting to paint. Because of this, we have a large box of paints, brushes, card and paint trays that are never far from their side. But last weekend I thought we might do a variation of the theme, by introducing them to the idea of mixed media art.
I try very hard to value all the artwork my children create, but inevitably the sheer volume of artwork can simply not be displayed proudly for all to see … we simply don’t have the wall space. So last weekend I thought I would try an idea I saw on a wonderful blog I follow called Lil Blue Boo. So off we went to the Emporium in search of small stretched canvases. Returning home colours were selected, tarp put down in the carport and the canvas preparation began.
Predictably my daughter hoarded all the reds, whites and purples….which were quickly turned into various shades of pinks. She certainly learned a great deal about blending in her canvas preparation. Our youngest (3) is still very much at the exploratory stage. Which paints go where, what happens when we mix colours and of the most fun is what happens to the water when cleaning the paint off the brushes! As for our teenager, he has definite artistic talent, despite his lack of confidence. He was left to independently create, and so decided to pass on the potato stage, preferring to concentrate on the creation of a landscape piece.
After many laps of the carport and concrete pad on bikes and scooters while waiting for the backgrounds to dry…..it was time to bring on the potatoes. The children watched in amazement as I manipulated the sharp knife into the requested shapes. Trust in my ability slowly grew after the initial standard diamond, circle and crescent shapes were crafted. Requests began to become more adventurous….including the kids initials and the ever popular ‘love heart’. After quietly congratulating myself on my feats of potato carving, the kids were into their stamping.
I must admit I found it very hard to sit and let them create. I had an image in my head of how I wanted their canvases to look. Because of this, I lost sight of the very fact they weren’t my canvases. And the point wasn’t really now they looked in the end….but the process they had experienced in getting them to where they were happy to say they were finished. I had to really bite my lip when my daughter decided to begin her stamping with yet another pink.. The same colour as the background. She did not foresee the issue with using the same colour one on top of the other. But she quickly modified her colour choice when she could see it was it going to work out as she had planned. If I had told her, however, it would not have allowed her to reflect on this herself.
My son learnt that by dunking your potato stamp in the paint the shape became muddled on the canvas. Again, this learning was simply through trial and error. The personality he is he would only do the opposite of any suggestion I would make out of a need to help. And as for my 14 year old…..he produced an amazing landscape piece, with his learning coming from accepting the genuine compliments he has received as a result if it. A hardworking morning for myself and my husband, that what would’ve appeared from the outside as a bit of painting with the kids. But a minefield of new learning opportunities for our three cheeky kids!