This is my first post for a while but lots has been going on behind the scenes with birthdays, Easter and opportunities for family time which is always great. This year in particular is filled with many celebrations, with members of both sides of the family reaching milestone birthdays. My previous post, http://treasuredbuttons.co.uk/dads-surprise-explosion was all about an explosion box that I created for my Dad’s 70th birthday back in March and here is another present that was given to my Dad but this time created by my 4-year old!
The initial idea of this project actually came to me last December during my eldest’s Nativity play. As I sat next to my Dad in the school hall waiting for the performance to begin, he pointed to a piece of artwork on the wall that was in the style of Jackson Pollock. I hate to say it but I was a little dismissive of this at the time and it wasn’t until after the event that my Dad’s appreciation of this style of artwork got me thinking, ‘how hard would that be to recreate?’ (One day these words will get me into trouble!) After a little research, it seemed an ideal project for my eldest to try, who could then give the finished piece to my Dad for his upcoming birthday – boom!
During my initial research, many had suggested that using kitchen utensils dipped in paint can create the desired effect of paint being splattered so, I set about having a rummage for different ‘tools’ that my eldest could use. I decided upon a kitchen whisk, a silicone pastry brush and a paint brush, just for tradition’s sake! I already had a fairly large canvas, about A3 size that I had been saving for the children to use and this seemed as good a time as any. I did wonder about using acrylic paints for a more lasting effect but thought that they may be a bit too thick so I settled upon using ordinary poster paints instead. The paint splatters would also be more washable too!
Next to plan was when and where! I had never done any sort of splatter painting before at home so was a bit unsure about the mess that we could make. Believe me, I am not one to usually shy away from messy play but there is a difference between mess and splatters of paint up the walls and furniture! Seeing as the weather was particularly dry and warm, I orchastrated a plan that once my youngest was asleep for an afternoon nap, my eldest and I would jump into the garden and create! I had all the paints, utensils and canvas ready so that as soon as the opportunity arose, we could be off!
I explained to my eldest what he could do and showed him the different coloured paint and tools that he could use. He looked at me and laughed as if I was asking him to do something that he wouldn’t normally be allowed to do – I guess I was! After some reassurance and once he realised that I wasn’t going to tell him off for flicking the paint, he really got into the activity, even doing a few spins on the spot in between flicks!
It was lovely to just watch him really having a go and exploring paint in a different way. We chatted about what tool he thought made the best ‘splatters’ and decided upon the silicone brush, although the whisk was also quite good too! Once we had made sure that the canvas was evenly covered with splatters (of course!) and he was happy with his creation, it was time to tidy up.
I think the end result is wonderful and it was a shame to give it away – I want one! I suggested to my eldest that he sign the canvas in the bottom right hand corner, along with the date as this is what artists do. He helped me to wrap the canvas and presented it to his Grandad with such pride, it made my heart sing with pride for him.
The best part of this project was just being able to watch my child be creative in his own way. Despite being a little uncertain at the start, he quickly learnt to just ‘flick the paint and see what happens!’ It is a great example, especially to children that there is no right or wrong way of creating your own artwork but just to have a go!
With Children’s Art Week not too far away (8th -16th June 2019) why not take the opportunity to try something new with your child and unleash their creativity, and your own!
Until next time, have fun!