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Friday, April 11, 2008

P is for.........Painting!

"Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us." ~ Roy Adzak

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a little about my process of finger painting with my Sugar. Since that day, we have been blissfully happy art partners. In fact, Hubby built us an Easel last summer, and ever since, the art has been flowing in the house of Living and Loving. I fully intended on share more of the 3000 photos I took of her painting at her easel, but I have neglected to get them all edited. Yes....I know! Shame on ME!

Over our Spring Break, I tried to have a few activities planned to keep us from killing each other being bored on a daily basis. I find it helps when WE have something to look forward to, and it seems to break up the day a bit. I try to have no preconceived ideas of how it will go, or ultimately turn out. I just give us the opportunity to experience something different.

"We work not only to produce but to give value to time." ~ Eugene Delacroix

It is always a treat for me to see the excitement in Sugar Bear's eyes when I say, "Hey Sugar, you wanna try something new?" She lights up, and immediately starts asking all sorts of questions, trying to guess what it might be. I have yet to disappoint her. That is a beautiful thing. Even the most simple little things are amazing to a child. Practically EVERYTHING is new. Until that day, she had never seen Marble Painting, so to was a thrill.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~Walt Streightiff

"We are in the business of making the kids feel good about themselves and reinforcing self-confidence. Sometimes that little positive reinforcement is enough to change a kid, or at least guide them in a direction towards creating more and more art." ~ Susan on Long Island

Sugar Bear loves to create new things, and proudly shares her ART with anyone she can find. I love to hear her explain the process she took to make her masterpiece. Hearing her interpretation of the event can be a learning experience for me. Sometimes, I walk away thinking, "Well, that wasn't all that great.", only to hear her telling Hubby about it later, and realize how much she appreciated it.

In this particular case, she found it a little frustrating to get the paint on her hands while retrieving the marble from the paint. I personally found that interesting, because she loves to finger paint. However, I find that my girl, can be somewhat anal about things, and since we were not using our hands as the tool in which to put the paint on the paper, the paint ought not be on our hands. To remedy her concern, I just brought a wet washcloth over for her to wipe her hands on after retrieving the marble. This worked for her.

There were many lessons to be learned in this form of art. Coordinating her muscles in her hands and arms to rock, roll, shake, and tilt the box without losing control and flinging the marbles across the room.

She spent a great deal of time trying to master keeping the marbles from simply rolling down the edge of the box without crossing the paper. It was intriguing watching her learn from the experience, and applying her newly found knowledge.

"Fill a space in a beautiful way" ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

To keep it simple I only set out Yellow, Fushia, and Blue paint. On her first painting, she proclaimed it complete as you see it above. She has yet to master the tilting, so the colors hadn't crossed each other too many times. They basically remained un-mixed.

Her next few paintings were much more actively "shaken", so we got the opportunity to discuss what happens when you mix colors. We got some Green, Orange, and Purple effects. It was delightful.

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.” ~ Plato

Towards the end, it began to matter less that she got paint on her hands. I find that once she is fully engaged in the process, the little details seem not bother her as much.

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a
child." ~ Pablo Picasso

Of course the wash cloth was never far, so she took full use of it from time to time.

Sometimes the project veers off in a different direction, and I strive to remain open to this. Sugar Bear began to get intrigued by the process of coating the marbles with paint, and then washing them off with the wash cloth. I had to literally sit on the "cheap and thrifty" part of my being that wanted to stop my girl from WASTING the paint. Over and over in my head, I was repeating, "It's the Process.....not the product.....It's the process...not the product!" The paint was NOT was just used in a different way.

In case you are wondering, yes, I did take like 1000 photos of her throughout this activity, and yet, I was completely there and in the moment with her. Our conversation was lighthearted, yet purposeful. At one point, I asked if I could give it a try, but she was reluctant to share her painting box. Next time, I'll make sure I have one for me as well. She let me play for about 2.5 seconds, but couldn't get past the thought that I was painting her picture for her. If I had my own box and marbles, I feel she would have been excited to see what Mama's painting would look like.

In the end, we both declared it to be the "bestest thing we did all day!", and we look forward to trying it again soon!

"A painting is never finished-it simply stops in interesting places." ~Paul Gardner

21 Live It or Love It:

Michele said...

What a wonderful experience and to post it as you did was fantastic. I couldn't help smiling the entire time. Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Looks like so much fun!! I'm always so impressed with how you are able to break down a seemingly simple act and talk about all the little things Sugar was's inspiring :-) And beautiful photos as always!

Anonymous said...

Oh how fun! I need to do this with The Bean. I know she'd love it. Sugar looked like she had a blast. She's just precious.

tommie said...

We will definitely be trying this.....thanks so much for sharing!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh that was fab. Miss M and I might do that later today. Love it. :D

Michie said...

Your writing sounds so much like my thought process with Paige sometimes. I probably would be trying to fight the urge to tell her she was wasting paint too, although she really was using it, just in a different way. If she is having fun, it really isn't a waste, is it? It is the process, not the product is my motto at school, but sometimes I forget it with Paige.

It is also funny because I've done this a few times at school with the kids since it is very sensory, but I haven't done it with Paige yet. I keep meaning too. I'll have to plan to do it soon.

I also think you are right - I think it is a good idea to have your own project, and then you get to play too, but don't get too involved in doing her project.

Sorry for the long rambling comments....

Bellevelma said...

Let me tell you what's wrong with your photos, Corey. That pretty little girl doesn't have ANY paint on her WHITE shirt! A NEAT child on top of it all. I'm jealous! :)

What a cool way to paint. Maybe we'll try that here one day. Outside, in a plastic smock, near the garden hose. And I would still have a boy covered in paint.

Maude Lynn said...

This is a really cool project! I'm definitely going to try this.

CMB said...

Looks like so much fun! You are braver than I.

Megan Cobb said...

I so admire your patience and ability (or at least attempts) to let the process evolve (or devolve) according to Sugar's interests. That is SO HARD, particularly when there's messiness involved (for me, I mean). You continue to teach and reinforce this valuable lesson for me. And in lovely, heart-warming style, with pictures that make me get a little misty because they're so pretty and make me feel so connected with your sweet lil daughter. Thanks, Corey, you are a PEACH.

Autumn said...

What a cool project! You are so creative... I really need to do some of that stuff with Bug.

Anonymous said...

You're such a cool mom! I love that idea. And it's funny how different she and Xander are, he always wants ME to do his drawing and coloring for him. I try to explain that the picture will then be something I made, not him, but he doesn't understand.

holly said...

yes, this is why when i do stuff with qoh, i get one for her and one for me. we do a lot of stuff side-by-side because i don't want her stuff to be stuff i've done for her.

like that giant michelangelo thing we did on the ceiling. i said "yes, i could help you do god, but then it would be *my* god, not yours..."

still, i don't think god should have had bunny ears.

Burgh Baby said...

That's my kind of fun right there. Great pictures!

AnnD said...

You never cease to amaze me. The pictures you take just get better and better.

Beth Ellen said...

I love the marble painting in a box idea. I will have to show that to my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Just gorgeous, Corey! The photos, the painting, they day, Sugar... all gorgeous :)

Carolyn said...

Eeeek. I've obviously been out of commission this week... third place on your Top Commenters list?? I better get a move on!

I love this marble painting. Csilla and I saw it on Mr. Maker the other day, but your post reminded me to get to it. We did some today and Csilla had a blast. Thanks thanks thanks for the reminder!!

ps - cute pics of Sugar Bear!!

Misty DawnS said...

She is just absolutely precious beyond words!

Cath said...

Looks like she is having great fun. And you keep the paint in the box yes? Not all over the floor, walls, child.... A real accomplishment! ;0)

Deb said...

What a cool, fun, creative way to paint! I don't think I've ever seen or heard of it before. Love seeing the learning process as you take us through Sugar's experience with it, and she's one cute little artist there! :)

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