Have you ever read The Color Kittens, by Margaret Wise Brown? It's about two kittens who experiment when colors in hopes of making green, and go on to create every color in the world. As the boys painted these very special birthday postcards for Jim's grandma yesterday, they reminded me of those kittens using their paints to mix up an entire universe of bright hues. At the end of it all, they were an utter mess, but were thrilled with what they made. I'm pretty sure that Grandma will love their artwork, too.
What we ended up with is a collection of white postcards, printed (on the reverse side) for mailing, and gleefully adorned in tempera paint. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that this is probably the first time Little Brother has painted since our foray into yogurt finger paint last summer. The truth is, I'm just not brave enough to let him paint inside. Would you be?
This picture was taken only seconds before that artful finger went into his mouth (which is totally my fault, thanks to the yogurt ). Fortunately, Little Brother learned pretty quickly that normal paint doesn't taste like vanilla, and embraced using the paint to drown his cards (and a few other things) in color. Every few minutes or so, he would stop, point to his progress, and exclaim with joy, "Look! Look! Look!"
In moments like these, I go back and forth emotionally between my type A need to keep things (relatively) under control and total fascination with watching my children explore. Observing Little Brother, I noticed him experimenting with mixing colors, layering various tints on his paper, and making textures with his brush. He was also (obviously) a bit curious about how paint would affect his hands and his head. Because I put an IKEA shower curtain down on our table (note: shower curtain liners are a fantastic way to protect surfaces from art supplies), he was able to spread paint wherever he wanted.
And, like the color kittens, the boys played and played, making postcard after postcard until all of their glorious colors became brown and body parts became more intriguing than paper. That was when our outdoor art studio became, briefly, something of a free-for-all.
And like any good boy mom, I saw this moment as my signal to go get the hose. Our adventure ended with two nearly naked, dripping little men running wild in the yard and me holding a large pile of wet clothes, trying desperately to keep them from dripping paint-water on the way to the wash. Fortunately, our beautiful artwork wasn't compromised.
Now I've just got to find a way to assemble these cards into something that can fit into the mail...and get all the way to Portland by this afternoon. Errr....
Happy Tuesday, friends!