Painting is fun and easy. But 'Art Scars', may have have left you doubting your ability.
When I was 10 I cut my thumb with a bone handled knife. I was terrified- I'd never seen so much blood. I was certain I would die. I've got a moon shaped scar at the base of my thumb. Most of us have scars and breaks that we carried into adult life. What about art scars? Who was told that they weren't good at drawing? A friend, a teacher, a parent or sibling jokingly laughed at your picture. That was enough to close a door. From then on you carried the belief: I don't draw or paint. I'm not an artist. At school I carefully cut out shapes and lovingly glued them to a piece of card. I made a picture of a boat on the sea. But when I proudly presented it to my art teacher, she frowned and dismissed me with a curt: "It's a bit simple." The door to my art slammed shut.
Luckily no door is shut for ever. Becoming a parent opened many doors for me. When my eldest daughter was born in our living room, and I saw her tiny body. A door to me heart opened. I'd never felt this sort of love. When I sat with my brother-in- law on Sunday, I saw the same look on his face. He had been at the hospital for days, and had watched his son being born. Becoming a parent changes you. It forces you to grow and learn new skills.
A parent is a Jack of all trades: Nurse, Storyteller, Chef, Teacher, Engineer (of Ikea furniture), Singer and Artist. You will paint and draw with your child. Children love to draw. For them its just play. And play is what children do best.
How to play with paint
When I became a parent I learnt how to paint. This is what I learnt. Painting is easier and more satisfying than drawing. Why? Because in painting, the colours do the work. You don't need skill. You don't have to draw anything in particular. It's best if you don't. You play. I recommend wet on wet painting. This is where you dip paper in water and let it soak. Then you paint with water colours, mixed with water. The colours will dance on the page. Because it's wet, they will blend naturally, and make amazing shapes and patterns. Good quality paper and paints are crucial. It doesn't work with cheap paints. I made this video to show the process:
There are 3 primary Colours. Blue, red and yellow. I suggest you begin with two. Say, yellow and red. Start off by painting your whole page yellow. Slowly let red join in the dance. When orange naturally appears it's a tiny miracle. Children love it. Where did orange come from? Then you just play with the mix of orange, red and yellow on your page. Like clouds drifting across the sky, patterns and shapes appear.
This is a a wonderful way to experience colour. Color comes alive on the page. After painting like this, the world looks different. You notice colours and textures. Your eye and heart have become more sensitive. Come on, don't be shy. Open the door to your art.