Last week we had several rainy and chilly Spring days in a row. On one of those days, Simon found a box of art supplies and asked to take it out. Never one to turn down art, I of course brought out the box, and we ended up spending hours together being creative and messy.
We found an old plaster mask inside that Simon got at a local kid’s art studio last year, and which he periodically adds to or re-paints. He started out by putting more foam stickers onto the mask, and then a fresh layer of paint. From there he moved on to painting on newspaper, exploring mixing colors on his palette, and then splattering water onto construction paper to see how he could make it change color.
While he did all of this, I used crayons and paint to work on some sketches of my own. I find that when I make art with materials that are less “precious” I tend to feel more free to explore and express. I think this process is good for me as an artist, because I release my tendency of being a perfectionist and just let go and have fun with the process. It is also probably good role modeling for Simon to see that you can be fearless about artistic expression, and not fuss about what it looks like.
Eventually Simon discovered the perler beads, and began working on making a star. I was amazed at how focused he was on this, seeing it through to completion with determination, even when the beads would sometimes tumble off of the shape if he bumped them. Once his star was filled in and ironed, he moved back over to the other side of the table again, and drew with crayons for a while before discovering that he could dip them in the paint and use them instead of a paintbrush.
So much exploration of materials took place, and I was amazed by how much time Simon invested in his artwork. Times like this are my favorite, where there is no right or wrong answer, we just pull stuff out and see what happens.