Life is a great big canvas

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.

~ Danny Kaye (1913-1987)

I picked up the raw materials for a craft for Ben and Molly a little while ago and have been saving them for a rainy day. The opportunity presented itself last week so I set them up and let them go to it!

Cotton swab (Q-tip) painting on canvas – materials:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Paint
  • Small white canvases
  • Egg carton
  • Painting smocks

Paint, cotton swabs, canvases and egg carton.
©PicklesINK 2012

I put a different colour of paint into each egg cup and stuck a cotton swab in each. The only instruction I gave to Ben and Molly was to use each cotton swab for only one colour. I wanted them to be able to mix the colours on the canvas while keeping them unique in the cups.

Molly painting a pink line.
©PicklesINK 2012

Molly, true to form, immediately picked the “pretty, pretty pink!” (With some urging from Ben – “Look Molly! There’s pretty pretty pink paint!” – There’s a bit of a chicken or egg situation when it comes to Molly’s love for bubblegum colour.)

Ben, painting coloured shapes.
©PicklesINK 2012

Ben started with his favourite colour, green, and concentrated on making distinct shapes, one of each colour.

One of the things I find really neat about Ben and Molly is how close they are to one another and how interested they are in each other’s activities. I was wandering around tidying etc. while they were painting but snapped pictures occasionally of what I thought what their singular focus on their own paintings. I didn’t realize until I looked at the pictures on the computer screen tonight that I had captured two very typical Ben and Molly moments:

Molly watching Ben paint.
©PicklesINK 2012

Molly taking a break from her painting to watch intently as Ben paints;

Ben watching Molly paint.
©PicklesINK 2012

And vice versa.

Ben has always struggled with his fine motor skills (inasmuch as what he is capable of producing does not match up to his satisfaction with the picture in his head, which frustrates him), so drawing and painting have not generally been his favourite activities. He seemed to find the cotton swabs an easy tool to manipulate and he concentrated very hard to paint one shape in each colour. He was incredibly proud to sign his name to his finished product and wants to hang it in his room!

Molly started out painting directly on the canvas and then took the craft in a uniquely Molly direction and started painting her fingers and hands and making prints for a neat effect of layered multi-coloured handprints.

While watching Molly start painting her hands for a second painting, Ben said, “Oh no, Mommy! Do you see what the paint says? It says, ‘Washable’!” Thinking he had misunderstood, I said, “It’s okay, bud – that means it will wash right off Molly’s hands.” Ben said, “No, mommy! It’s WASHABLE! We have to be careful never to get my painting WET!”

The finished paintings:
Ben’s, above, and Molly’s two below.
©PicklesINK 2012

The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.

~ Edvard Munch (1863-1944)

I will be very, very careful to never get these paintings wet!

~ karyn

One thought on “Life is a great big canvas

  1. Pingback: Molly has quite the ‘eye’ for art « picklesink

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