thismummaslife

Motherhood, Art, Creative Play, and Finding Joy in Everyday Life


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A New Project

Hello All! It has been a very busy time around here with a new baby, a 4 year-old, and Christmas holidays happening. I haven’t posted here in quite a while again. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get back into blogging here more regularly, so I will be back soon with a real update.

For now, I am stopping by to invite you to check out a new blogging project: K Lord Art. I have often shared my art with you here, but because the main focus of this blog has always been about my daily life and motherhood, I didn’t share my art as often as I wanted to. After some deliberation I have decided to start the new blog, just for all of my art endeavors, and keep this blog what it has always been.

I would love for you to check it out, and click the ‘follow’ button to follow along with me over there too.

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Salad Spinner Art

Did you know you can use your salad spinner to make awesome art? I was reminded of this recently, when Jean over at The Artful Parent posted a link on Facebook to her blog post about doing so. I have had a salad spinner sitting in the back of a cabinet, and it has been years since I have used it for washing salad. I almost donated it when we moved last year, but I am now glad that we still have it kicking around for this new creative purpose.

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Simply add paper to the salad spinner, drip in some paint, put the lid on and spin! It is really fun to see what the results are when it finally stops and you take the lid off. Simon squealed with delight every time each new piece was revealed.

We had fun testing out different color combinations. Simon even made one using all of the paint colors we have. We discovered that the results were better when the spinner went really, really fast.

This project is also very easy to clean up, for those of you who are more hesitant about using paint at home with little ones. I recommend using water based, non-toxic paint, such as tempera. When you are done, just wash the salad spinner out in the sink.

The following week I also brought my salad spinner to work with me and did this project with the kids who attended my Preschool Storytime program. I read aloud books about colors and art, and then gave the kids paper plates. They dripped paint onto their plates and we passed the salad spinner around for them to take turns. They had a blast!

spin art at the library


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Rainy Days Are For Art

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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.


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“Wintered-in”

morning art
Last week there were two days of school cancellations due to weather, which meant no work for Mumma, and no preschool for Simon. We were stuck inside for two days. Then, we kicked off the beginning of this week with even more inclement weather, dangerous roads, and staying indoors. This winter has been a doozy, and it is only just beginning for us here in Maine. I think it is safe to say that cabin fever has been high around here, and we are all a tad grumpy.

However, there has also been a lot of creativity. Jeramy got into the baking mood, and whipped up some crock pot beer bread on a whim. Simon and I drew in our sketchbooks. There have been multiple instances of toy cars being pressed into playdough, and some sponge painting.

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The sun has returned, and I look forward to shaking off some these feelings of being cooped up by getting us out of the house. However, I am glad that when we do end up “wintered-in”, we are able to find ways to add color and flavor to our days.


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Peace Offering

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Peace Offering
I managed to find some time, in the hubbub of daily life a few weeks ago, to set up a bit of our studio, dust the rust off my paint brushes, and paint this piece. I went into this with a quick sketch, and just allowed it to evolve on the canvas. I intentionally tried to be less controlling, and just see what the piece became. I had no idea, when I set out, that there would be birds, or a house and a sofa. At one point there was a heart in her hair, but I ended up covering it. Sometimes, I scribbled.

It has been a very long time since I painted in this way, and it was wonderful. I found myself sneaking off to my studio for a minute here, five minutes there, to add something to it. I don’t think I have ever completed a painting so quickly.

As is the way with me, I look at it now and find all of the things I feel are “wrong” about it. I could have tried to use more realism, I could have looked at a real feather for reference, I could have composed it a bit differently, etc. But, really, whatever the outcome, the experience was so fulfilling that it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, art is something I do for myself, for my own personal expression. If I don’t enjoy the actual making of it, if I get to caught up in the product, than it isn’t worth doing.

“Peace Offering”
Acrylic and Pastel on Canvas


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44/52

finger paint

“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.”

Simon: Finger painting

We are down to less than ten weeks left in the 52 challenge, and I think this might be my first portrait that doesn’t include Simon’s face. But I love this photo, and I love the way he always ends up painting with his fingers in the end, even when he starts out with brushes. He loves to dip one finger into each color and watch the results unfold as he “walks” his fingers across the white paper. I enjoy observing him while he explores with art materials.

As always, click the icon to see more 52:
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