When P was around two years old I wanted to get her a canvas to paint. The work of small children is so ....real? I can't think of an all encompassing word to describe it. I had the luxury of focusing on just P when it was just us two. I loved going to Create Studio and watch her paint. I could study the thoughts behind her process. Then P turned 3, then 4, then I had G. My focus became divided. They are growing fast. They're now 6 and 2! That was it! I couldn't let another day go by and not capture their art properly. It was time to Carpe Diem!
Summer arrived. Goal #1: buy a large canvas and let the girls "Jackson Pollock" it. June came and went. Other goals got done. July came and went. We were crazy sick for three weeks. It's now August and the girls go back to school in two weeks. Carpe Diem!
Two days ago I finally bought a 36x48" canvas. Yesterday I bought acrylics and supplies at Dick Blick in Pasadena while Dave and I were on a date night. This morning I tarped up part of the garage to protect the walls and create an "art studio" where the girls could freely paint. The process was pretty spectacular but exhausting. It was controlled chaos to let a 6 and 2 year old go to town with paint.
We will definitely have more "studio days" ahead of us. It was a blast. However, I will never forget that the day I "Carpe Diem" was the very same day we lost "O Captain My Captain". The day will always be marked in my heart. The final product is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself. It will remind me to always Carpe Diem with my girls and our dreams.
The process went like this:
It took me a good chunk of the morning to clean up, clear out and tarp a space in the garage. By the time I was done the girls were hungry so we ate before painting.
Mixing. I bought primary colors with black and white so they could create even more colors. The mixing began but it took a lot of explaining and me constantly say "Wait! Wait! Not yet!" But color creation is part of the education.
P got the first brush stroke.
G joined in pretty quickly. My biggest challenge was keeping my mouth shut and letting them do what they thought looked best. I wanted to art direct BADLY. On the flip side, allowing them to create but also keep in check that there are limits to what we can paint was a challenge. Or, to be more exact, there's a limit to how much paint a canvas can take.
It was special watching them be "in it", focused, driven, creative.
Then P got her Jackson Pollock on!
It got kind of aggressive and fun. We had music playing. Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers were setting the tone at this point.
The canvas was moved to the floor. Big drips were ON! Without supervision, all of the containers would have been completely used up! Walking that fine line of freedom with supervision is hard and exhausting.
The Jackson Pollock technique didn't go too far because P would drip and splatter and G would brush it together. Then P gave up and joined in the smearing. At this point I'm thinking, this is not going up on our walls. I had to step in finally and art direct...a little. I took a very wide brush and brushed in one direction over the canvas. P took over from there. She continued brushing top to bottom. Then she took a wooden dowel and pushed all the paint to the middle of the canvas, creating a mound while uncovering some of the colors beneath. Next she ran the brush horizontal through the mound of paint and the project was finished. I did have to say "You're done! Don't touch it anymore!" I knew from the beginning I'd have to use my editorial eye to know when to walk away.
The painting has great texture. It's going to go up in our bedroom. I also have plans to glam up our boudoir! G is now big enough to raise the bed back up off the ground.
Later, P was staring up at the sky. I asked her what she was looking at as I looked up myself and saw Altocumulus clouds, the kind that have a repetitive pattern across the sky. P said "I"m looking at brush strokes". She is seeing the world in a different way. My project was a success. That's all I ask for; opening up the mind and changing a perspective.
Labels: art, kid space