We had a blank spot on our wall just above the library book bin, and it was driving me crazy. I like my home to be colorful, and my art of choice is anything my children have created. Ever since LittleMan was old enough to grasp a crayon I have plastered our walls with his scribbles and doodles. Something about being surrounded by children’s art just makes it feel more homey. Some of the artwork is framed, some of it is just pinned to a length of ribbon we have stretched across our wall. For this particular blank spot, I wanted something larger, but I didn’t want to spend a small fortune at the hobby shop for a large canvas. I found that 2 pieces of white foam board from Dollar Tree were just the right size for the space I wanted to fill.
Whenever we do a big project like this, I prefer to either work outside, or in the bath tub. We actually have a second bathroom which we use only for art projects. We call it our “art studio,” click [here] to see the virtual tour.
Painting in the bathtub makes clean up a breeze because all the tile wipes clean and we have easy access to running water to hose off the kids. I simply mounted the foam boards to the tub wall and spread the painting materials along the edge of the tub for the children to help themselves to.
Something else a little unusual about how we do art, we only buy red, yellow, and blue paint for our children. Anytime they want a secondary color, they have to mix it themselves. This really helps solidify the science behind the color wheel. For big projects like this, LittleMan helps me prep the paint in muffin tin trays.
Here he is mixing some purple from blue and red.
I asked LittleMan before we got started if he’d prefer traditional paint brushes or to paint without brushes. I don’t know why I ask because the answer is almost always, “no brushes, please.” Whenever they opt to not use brushes, I instead supply them with toy cars, blocks, plastic dinosaurs, pom poms, old tooth brushes, etc.. We have plenty of brushes but they just prefer the non-brush variety.
Some people may think it is pointless or silly or just for fun, but I see great work getting done every time my children paint.
Some may see a child being silly but I see person so overcome with joy that they can’t help throwing their head back and laughing uncontrollably.
Some may see a child making a mess but I see a young mind exploring texture and color.
Some may see a child painting a block, but I see budding problem solving skills as LittleMan figures out how to make block stamps with a block too large to fit in the paint pot.
Some may see a child just playing but I see a child developing confidence, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor muscles.
Some may see children just painting side by side.
I see two young people learning how to communicate and collaborate on a project without interference from some adult.
I also see a brother and a sister bonding, forming a strong foundation which will last them the rest of their lives.
And when it was all said and done, I had my wall art:
We placed a quote, “Logic will take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere,” [Albert Einstein] onto the painting as a simple reminder to ourselves why we, as parents and educators, love to offer these types of process-led art opportunities to our children.
Other quotes we considered:
“Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” – Maria Montessori