Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lil' Pollock

Today was the day. Today was the day I've been looking forward to since before Linus was born. Today was the day we painted.

Anyone who knows me as a teacher knows I love art. No, I wasn't an art teacher but I always believed that the arts shouldn't stop at the door of the "specials" classes. That's why I always had an Artist of the Week on Fridays. We'd read a biography (or do a biography read-aloud with 1st graders) then we'd create an artwork in the style of the artist. Sometimes this even involved throwing paint at a piece of paper a la Jackson Pollock. I really loved doing these units because often the kids who excelled in creating art were not the kids who excelled in the usual academics. I actually had a parent tell me that her son hated school from kindergarten all the way through 3rd grade but then he got into my 4th grade class and, especially on Fridays, would be up and ready before anyone else in his house.

When I was pregnant and many days since I have longed to be able to do some of my favorite classroom activities with Linus. No, I'm not sitting him down and grilling him with flashcards (I didn't do that in my classroom either), but I am letting him paint.

The "paint" is a recipe I got from Wondertime magazine. Since Linus still puts everything in his mouth, I needed something entirely consumption-safe. This paint is made from flour, water, and food coloring. It's perfectly safe for him to eat though the only ones eating paint today ended up being my stupid cats.

At first, Linus only stuck a finger in. He rubbed the paint between his finger and thumb feeling the gooey-ness. Watching me, he took his finger and wiped it on the paper leaving a little green streak. After that, there was no stopping him. I firmly resisted correcting his creativity and exploration and let him smear paint on the floor, on his leg, and even on me. I even breathed my way through him grabbing a container of paint and dumping it on the paper.

It was definitely messy, but isn't that what childhood explorations should be?


Nichols Family said...

How FUN!!! Is it completely washable? I'm not a fan of mess, either...but I'm willing to try just about anything.

canape said...

For some reason that brought tears to my eyes. I am so excited for CC to discover art and music and all the beauty in the world.

I think Linus created some real masterpieces. Especially on his bum!

amy said...

wonderful! thanks for posting the link for the paint recipe -- can't wait to give it a try.

abbyjess said...

So I can confirm that it didn't stain. I washed the clothes immediately afterward and sprayed some stain spray on for good measure and his white onesie (that I didn't care about anyway) came out clean as a whistle.

Oh and I didn't actually use a recipe. I just mixed flour and water (about 1 cup each) until it seemed a tempera paint consistency. I divided the "paint" into 4 separate dishes and added 3-4 drops of food coloring to each. It really resembled frosting.

Anonymous said...

Grampa B. wants a framed painting. gramma B

Susie said...

I love a Mom who's not afraid of a little mess! Love it, love it! Here's to first paintings!

Octamom said...

Great post--and the last picture is the best!!!