a blank canvas, color and a brush
i am not a fancy painter at all. i first fell in love with painting as a young girl watching my grandfather paint in his dimly lit basement. there were easels, oil paint tubes, linseed oil, paint brushes and tools in every shape. i would watch him for hours. then came the day he said i could paint my own small canvas. i decided on nature (one of his specialties) and painted a log cabin, woods and trees. remember bob ross? well you may laugh, but my grandfather had that same calmness as he painted, describing how to get those tree limbs to look real and how to add snow. my mother noticed my love of painting and bought me a bob ross “how to paint set” a few years later. i never used it much, but she could see that a love of painting and watching someone paint was unfolding.
i gave my mom a painting as a gift in grade school, which hung in her bathroom framed for years. then in college i started painting again, this time mostly cards for family and friends. one i sent to my boyfriend’s parents (now in laws) read “love is all you need” -for valentines day- with swirls of paint around it. it’s framed in their house today.
recently, i asked a close friend, who also happens to be an amazing art teacher, what the best medium is for letting little ones express themselves creatively. she said hands down- painting. free painting that is, where you give full creative control to the small eager hands and the paint brush. so no paint by numbers.
my four year old created these valentines to share with his class and teachers. i have to admit i want to keep them all! i also have to admit that i wanted to grab a brush and paint with him. he said he painted: love hearts, love bugs, love lizards and one of “mommy with me in her belly, like a long time ago”…
a blank canvas, color and a brush. what will your child paint? what techniques will they develop on their own to create eyes or mouths? which brush will they choose, which colors? how will they describe it to you after it dries?