Painting with Children

When you paint and you have children, inevitably your two worlds mix. Your children leave their mark on your art and your art leaves its mark on your children, both metaphorically and literally. Think, paint on toddler clothes and toddler finger-prints in fresh paint on the canvas. Imagine a world where all children view the world through the hands-on perspective of art and the world views itself through art shaped by children. How will we be changed by them?

Letting the children be involved in the artistic process can help me too. It makes me take a step back and just let go. Like a child I learn to be free in the creative process rather than putting myself in a box.

When I started doing the fluid acrylic pours I learned a new way of painting that included friends and family. “Pours” are a simple process of layering different color paints in a cup and adding a few drops of silicone or oil. When you flip the cup onto a wood panel or canvas the paints flow into each other while the oil creates unique cell shapes. It’s a lot of fun and my daughters could make beautiful backgrounds with me through such a simple process.

Instead of viewing my children as an excuse for why I can’t get work done, instead of viewing them as an obstacle to my productivity, I’ve come to see their influence in my life as improving my skills. When I only have small chunks of time to paint it forces me to be more focused with my time. I’ve become a more efficient artist, making every brushstroke count. We teach our children important lessons throughout their lives but every day they teach us priceless lessons too.

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