This week I decided that I definitely need to do more art stuff with the kids. We did tons of art in the spring, but then summer came along, and creativity got pushed aside for other things. We worked on Steve’s 4-H project. The fair came and went. The boys were invited to parties and sleepovers and camping trips. My work schedule changed, so I didn’t get to spend as much time with my boys. Now life is more or less back to normal (as normal as it gets anyway), so I can plan to do more fun things like art and science projects again.
The boys rarely initiate artsy things on their own. Steve used to, but now he’s too old/cool/whatever, and Tobin usually only asks for PlayDoh on his own. (Have I mentioned how much I despise PlayDoh?) I generally have to plan particular projects to do instead of just leaving things open-ended. If I threw a bunch of art supplies on the table and told the kids to make whatever they wanted to, Tobin would probably give me the evil eye, and Steve would do a lot of grumbling under his breath.
I don’t like to overplan things either though. Then Steve and Tobin both get frustrated when things don’t turn out the way they think they ought to. I thought that perhaps instead of planning to do particular projects that we could plan to work with a particular medium over several days or weeks and see if/how we can be creative with it. We’re starting with paint since we have so much of it in the house, and it’s one of Tobin’s favorite art supplies to use (after that evil invention called PlayDoh, of course).
Today we tried adding different things to our paint to give the paints different textures. We used ground coffee mixed into brown paint, ground cinnamon mixed into red paint, and clean play sand mixed into yellow paint. The boys then used the altered paint to cover some wood cutouts we had. Tobin’s favorite part was actually mixing up the paint. For Tobin, the actual painting of the objects was definitely secondary to the mixing aspect.
The brown coffee paint produced a nice bumpy texture. The red cinnamon paint was not as rough as the brown coffee paint, and the yellow sand paint had a cool, gritty effect.
The yellow sand paint was my personal favorite, but I think the boys liked the brown coffee paint best. The effect was certainly the most dramatic of the three. Steve painted a toad cutout with it because the texture reminded him of a toad’s bumpy skin.
I’d like to try this again someday soon with other paint additives. Perhaps sesame seeds? Dried herbs? Dirt from the yard? Torn flower petals?