Friday, July 6, 2012

The wonderful medium of paint...

Painting. The slick texture of the paint. The way that it changes as my fingers press against the canvas. The stark contrast of it against my skin. Paint is one of the most satisfying mediums in art. It is very distinct in the way that it moves and reacts to us. As a child, I would often marvel at the way my mom could change a canvas with paint. It was satisfying to see the end point of her artwork that used other mediums such as pastels, water colors, pencil, or charcoal- but nothing was as satisfying to watch during the creation as paint.

Paint is an extremely messy medium. It gets everywhere and at times can seem impossible to clean up. This is the challenge of painting with young children. It involves a high amount of letting go. A high amount of "the journey is more important than the after" which as most of our readers know by now is something I struggle with. I regularly challenge myself to let go. For me, deciding to paint is something that can not be a thought out decision. Once I think of doing it, I must dive into it or I will simply find a reason to avoid it.

So the other day as we sat in our new big room I thought to myself, "We should paint." Amy had mentioned it to me that morning and I had half-heard her idea and gone on with my morning work. Once I heard my own voice echo hers, though, I knew I must act quick! I took down a canvas hanging in the new room, got the black paint, and quickly readied the children for painting.
With a drop cloth under the canvas and the paint set out next to it, I invited the children to join me. At first only EVS joined. She sat next to the canvas and experimented with her hands before deciding to dive into the canvas, literally. This did not bother her the least, though, and she seemed quite pleased to have paint covering her entire front. Her enthusiasm spread to IS who crawled over to join us. AS stayed away for the time being, deciding that watching from the entrance of the bathroom was much more satisfying than painting might be. Eventually, she joined us as well and chose to paint with only her hands and get very little paint on her own body.

Watching the children paint was a very exhilarating moment for me. I knew there would be a lot of clean up afterwards. Black paint is especially messy due to it's dark color. This is also why it's extremely satisfying. The contrast of the paint against the canvas and our own skin is immediate and drastic. It's so enjoyable to watch it cover the canvas and, in the process, ourselves. The clean up, as expected, was its own journey but so very worth those exhilarating moments of watching the children fully experience a medium I have so much love for. Seeing them explore their fine motor skills, experience the texture of tempera paint so fully, and really immerse themselves in such a wonderful experience is priceless. I look forward to further exploring with paint as the summer passes!


  1. I love this! Melinda, is there anyway I could get a copy of the video you took of EVS?

  2. Tamara- Absolutely! I can either text or email it to you. I'll talk to you about it when I see you tomorrow! :)