Do you remember your art class in grade school? As with most of us, it was my favorite part of the school week. I have fond memories of putting on the apron to protect my clothes from the splashes of paint.
The blank paper was beckoning my imagination as I dipped the paintbrush in the jar. I remember the completed artwork hanging around the classroom until we were finally allowed to bring it home. My mother would then hang my masterpiece on the refrigerator for all to admire.
Recently, I purchased an easal along with all the various brushes and supplies. I also bought two large drop cloths, a necessity I quickly realized. I put the easel in my family room. I wanted a dedicated area where the kids could create.
It was now time to begin. I secured the generous swath of paper onto the easel and prepared my granddaughter to explore the possibilities of color, texture, and creating. At first, she stood frozen, staring at the paper, then she dipped the brush in and made a single line. Before long, she was lost in her imagination, adding colors, dragging one image into another. I loved her focus; she would use the whole paper, making sure the masterpiece stretched from one end to the other.
The grandsons were next. Each made their paper come alive with images of dragons and monsters. I noticed the detail, tiny drops of red and blues strategically placed for emphasis. Their confidence grew as they realized there is no wrong way to paint. Self-expression has no boundaries when it comes to creating.
When finished, we dried the artwork and showed their Mom and Dad. Their faces beamed as they heard all the gasps of praise.
Encouraging your grandchildren to paint has endless benefits. It allows them to explore their ideas, emotion, process, and outcomes. It is a time for conversation, telling them what you see in their painting. It also builds confidence allowing the children to express how they see the world.
Painting is a great equalizer. You create, you express, you relax, and enjoy the process.
"If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced."
Vincent Van Gogh