I always have fun painting with our grandchildren, especially Madox. You’ve met him before in the pages of this blog. He’s always excited and enthusiastic about art, and together we have lots of fun.
Recently Madox and I worked together on making a set of bookmarks — a perfect present for his mother. As a creative eight-year-old, Madox isn’t always good at following directions, so I wasn’t sure how our project would turn out. I’ve learned not to interfere with his painting unless asked, but I’ve also learned a little about guiding him with ideas and suggestions.
He quickly caught on to the idea of “splatter painting” as he called it. We used the nice little set of Crayola watercolors that I recently mentioned in another post, and after choosing red and blue as his predominant colors, he grabbed a good-sized brush and made lots of splatters.
At the same time, I was working on a painting of my own, so I showed him how to swirl and blend the colors together a bit. As I added various colors to my painting, Madox decided he might like a bit of yellow, too. Together we strategically placed yellow here and there. I helped him add a bit of green to create a leafy, grassy feeling, and all in all, I was quite impressed by his design, especially when, after it had dried, he chose to add more “little splatters” with a small brush. Indeed, a perfect touch, Madox!
Meanwhile, I was having fun making my own colorful painting. Inside of being shut up in the studio, we were doing this project on the back patio. Lots of sunlight! Lots of fresh air! Yes, lots of sneezing and sniffling, too, but it was all a lot of fun.
So the first part of our painting project went well. Madox had a bit of time to play while our paintings dried, and then we sat down together at the kitchen table, a box of Sharpies and gel pens between us.
For Madox, the concept of doodling was over his head. I’ll admit, I sometimes have trouble with it, too. Even though doodling should be a bit mindless and fun, it can actually be challenging if you have a specific outcome in mind. When I’m doodling for my bookmark projects, I’m thinking florals, so my doodles occasionally come out a bit contrived.
Madox, of course, had no such thoughts holding him back. Not understanding the idea of doodling, he simply drew whatever he wanted. You’ll see that at first, he imitated my “floral” doodle, but then decided that wasn’t working for him. He drew a snake eating a bug, explaining that this represented the “circle of life”, and he was quite pleased when he was done. He’d thought it all out, you see. We could make a few bookmarks for his mother, and he could cut the rest of the painting up as a puzzle. Good thinking, Madox.
He did, indeed, end up with three beautiful bookmarks that I’m sure his mother will cherish, and he had lots of fun cutting the remainder of the painting up into squares and rectangles of different sizes to create his own puzzle.
I was happy, too, with my bookmarks. The colors are actually a bit brighter than they appear in this photo. For me, they’ll always be bright, colorful memories of a beautiful May afternoon when Madox and I painted together.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Make lots of lovely memories today.