Chronicling 40: Day 17 of 365

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2017 Collaboration Piece… painted by myself and my 10 year old daughter. 

Make art with your children.  I beg of you, do this.  You will not regret it.

Maybe you are not artistically inclined, if so… there are options for you.  There are those Sip & Paint style studios were you are directed on how to paint any number of subjects and styles.  Some are even classes designed for 2 people, where you each paint half of the finished product.  There are ceramic studios where you can paint precast ceramic pieces… work independently on a series that goes together or contribute equally to a larger piece.

Make art.  Make it often.  Display it proudly.

For several years, I’ve worked on art projects with my kids.  Most are hung up in my house, but some have been given as gifts to family members.  It brings me such joy to walk by these pieces that my kids have contributed to.

The picture at the top, that is part of this year’s project.  That was a collaborative piece with my 10 year old daughter.  Next week, my 14 year old and I begin our piece, seahorses.  We are working on a series, that will be hung in my house.  My 18 year old and I still need to figure out our piece.

If you were to come to my house, you would see a lot of art on the walls.  Almost like living in a gallery.  What you won’t know right away is that almost every single piece (minus 2 in the living room, and 2 in the bathroom) are made by members of our family.  I love being surrounded by the creative styles of my family members (on both my side of the family, and my husband’s side).

But, I am sure you are wondering how to do so in a way in which it flows with your decorating style… and that my friends is simply answered by controlled creativity.

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This was the family project from 3 years ago.

What do I mean by controlled creativity?  I mean that we approach every project with a plan.  Since the kids know it is for the house, they expect it is going to be coastal/beach/sealife related.  So, we discuss what each one wants to paint before we even begin.  I layout the color palette (pre-mixing if need be), give suggestions and guidance along the way.  This isn’t just about creating the final product, but also about teaching them color theory to technique.  We talk about how colors work together.  We talk about the rules, and then sometimes we break them.  It’s a lesson on patience, and a process.

I also allow them to complete a more personal project in the process.  This can be anything they want, and it will end up in their bedroom or they can gift it away.  It allows them to express their own sense of creativity beyond the project for the house.

I’m not just creating art, I’m creating memories.  I’m also encouraging their creativity, confidence, and sense of style.  I’m spending hours with my kids on a focused project, from concept to execution.  I love every second of it… even when the paint spills… and she wipes her messy hand on her brand new shirt.

I also help them break the bonds of perfection.  We embrace the oops… as Bob Ross would say, they are just happy little accidents.

Create with your kids, you will not regret it.

Chronicling 40: Day 14 of 365

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Finding my artistic voice, this is going to be a huge part of my 40s… I truly believe this.  I’ve always loved art.  I’ve always painted and drawn.  I love being creative, but I’ve always felt like I have never found my own artistic voice.

Earlier this year, I began learning a new technique.  Now, this technique is not new and is actually older than most contemporary artists of this style even realize.  None the less, it is new to me.   I have spent a few months just understanding the technique, the science behind what I am doing with these paints and chemicals.

When it comes to my creative processes, I’ve lived hard and fast by the guideline to learn the rules before I break them (or bend them, tweak them, etc).

A couple of days ago, it happened.  I found my artistic voice.   I worked on the above piece over a few days.  Now in the past, I may have spent as much time on a painting, or drawing.  I may have really liked it, but I would not have called it “fine art”.  It’s just a painting.  This was the first piece I’ve created in a long time where I feel like it is a real piece of art.  Also one that expresses my style.

Not only do I feel confident in finding my voice, but I also find so much joy and satisfaction in being creative at this level.  I’m thinking the 40’s are going to be very creative years.