Friday, September 3, 2010

Keeping Up With the Artists

We have two paint shirts, cut from the many white shirts that go "the way of all the earth" after Matt has worn them once or twice a week for two years. These shirts are marked with a history of little people's efforts at creating - it is the art of childhood smeared all up and down the front, or in some cases painted directly on to the shirt as the paper eventually becomes a bit boring. We need a new canvas, they decide, discovering fabric works nicely.

We have two paint shirts but three painters now. The littlest painter came to the table a few days ago after Jonah and Caroline abandoned their post. This abandonment is so strictly against the painting rules I can hardly contain my (anger - which I'm working on) response. They left all their wares and tools scattered across the marginally protected tabletop - far too inviting a scene for a momentarily unsupervised two-year-old.

I found her thus:

Paints are a heady temptation. I experience this temptation regularly, accompanied by the gloomy realization that I have no skills once the paints have been squeezed seductively from the tube. A brush in my hand has such a tentative meeting with canvas - beyond "hello" it really has no conversation. I like to watch my kids paint because their brush and canvas converse fluently.

Cecily is obviously no exception.

And she has christened her own paint shirt.

When Matt's currently white shirts are discarded to make way for a new batch of new white, I will snag two more for the little painters.

Perhaps I should keep one for myself and call it my painting smock. Perhaps it will sufficiently clothe my artistic apprehension such that I can smear paint on paper without fear.

Be warned - a little paint tray, left unattended, sporting an array of colors such as this might tempt your little ones, or even yourself beyond forbearance.

Two suggestions:

1. If you buy paints you must emotionally disconnect yourself from your children's clothes.

2. Buy a piece of duck cloth or canvas that can be easily unrolled to cover the table generously - it alleviates anxiety.


Wayne said...

If anyone wants to paint a picture for me, and send it to NY, or post it here, I would not complain.

JaeReg said...

Good idea. I didn't think of posting their work. I'll get on that.

aubtobobtolob said...

my relationship with art seems to render me motionless at times.
I want it to be me. Yet.....

Anyway at least it is wonderful to watch children paint with unencumbered love.

I find an old apron works wonders, as does a dollar store plastic table cloth. And a big bin to keep all the paint treasure tools in.