Painting with children
This is from a few days ago. Holly asked to paint with me outside so I dropped everything and we set up in the front yard. I love painting with the girls. She wanted to paint the fall leaves, and I took a stab at the flowers by the front steps. Of Holly’s two paintings below she really disliked one and loved the other. Any guesses? Then Holly’s good friend came over and painted too.
Yesterday Holly helped me prime some boards, and that put her in the mood to paint a picture. Meredith joined in and we had a good old-fashioned painting party. I chose these objects with the Daily Paintworks “white on white” challenge in mind. It was an interesting change of pace to focus on value and shades of gray. The color changes are very slight. Meredith painted beautiful flowers from life. I especially love the alstroemeria in the lower right corner. Holly painted a fantastic rainbow with people to admire it and some smart green grass.
Here are some of the paintings from Pickeral Lake. I chose the same view from the cottage’s front yard as last year, but I think this attempt turned out better. My nieces and daughters were very productive with watercolors, and held a successful art show on the beach the next day.
Memorial Day – the girls wanted to try plein air painting in the backyard, in the heat. I felt a bit wilted by the time they got going. I am not happy with my very quick cloud study, but I love the girls’ paintings. This is Meredith’s first try with oil paints. Holly says hers is a sculpture. I’ve been admiring the paintings of Roos Schuring, a plein air painter in the Netherlands. I’m amazed by her work, and I love watching her video demos.
NOTE: The closing reception for the Motherland show at North Park University is from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday night, February 10. The girls and I are looking forward to it! Please come if you can 🙂
Inspired by watching young kids paint with such concentration, purpose, and freedom – and by Hundertwasser, and by the book Life, Paint, and Passion – I’m making some paintings that are more intuitive and abstract. The paintings are fine, but recent sketches more interesting, so I’m posting a few. Meredith helped me with the third one and then added her own sketch on a new page. I like seeing ideas developing through images. I doodle something, and then based on how that feels, doodle something else. While reading that book I was bothered by the idea that painting must be either process driven or product driven, not both. But I guess one person could paint both ways at different times. I enjoy painting with specific goals, too. But I’ll definitely keep going with this. It seems goofy and it feels good.
Here is a kiwifruit, with a spoon. This is my first attempt using oil-based primer to prepare the board instead of acrylic gesso – it was very slick. I think I’ll try lightly sanding the next one so it grabs the paint more.
Meredith, Holly and I are so happy to have our work included in a show at North Park University’s Carlson Tower Gallery called “Motherland.” Holly helped install the paintings last week. It’s a faculty show – the other artists are amazing: Tim Lowly, Nnenna Okore and Kelly Vanderbrug. I’ll try to post better pictures of the show soon, but check it out if you can.
Holly had a friend over to play yesterday afternoon, and they were so content in their couch cushion fort that I got a good start on this painting. These flowers were from the farmers market last summer. We split one bouquet into many little jars and bottles, mixed with a hostas and flowers from our yard. While I painted this glimpse of summer, a thick layer of snow was falling on that same yard :).
The girls joined me after a while and we got out the watercolors. Our friend did the first two, and the others are Holly’s. Holly started out painting with the back end of her brush and said “Look, it’s like I’m making art.” Not sure what she meant, but it turned out well.
We had some good painting time yesterday. I’ve been looking at paintings by the Austrian artist Friedensrich Hundertwasser. Some of his paintings and architectural work included themes of human reconciliation with nature. They are lovely, whimsical, and strange. I had a lot of fun with this. Against Meredith’s better judgement, I tried an ink wash-off technique after this painting dried. I like how it turned out (below), but I like the pre-ink version better. Ah well.
Meredith’s fairy painting isn’t quite done, but I’m impatient and I’m posting it anyway. It includes a Sun Fairy, and Animal Fairy and Wind Fairy. I’ll repost when she’s finished.
Holly said her painting was about Dad going to work.