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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here is my favorite little artist! My grandson, Ben, is shown here last year enjoying finger painting!

I've been promising to give some ideas on my blog about encouraging children in art. As you look at the delight on Ben's face and the hands all paint covered, you know this is where the action is with little artists. Ben's mother, my daughter, Julia, was " into" art from an early age, also. She now has a studio in her home and Ben shares that area with his mother. Not only is he encouraged to work on a flat activity area, he also, has an easel of his own.
This love of art is multi-generational in our family. My mother was an artist and I grew up doing my art next to her in her "studio" (our dining room table, that had to be cleared for dinner each day!)
Finger painting is always a great way to get little artists going!

When I was a child in school, finger painting was a once a year deal, and then only with some teachers. My standout memory there was that I was all excited to do finger painting in the afternoon with the traveling art teacher who came once a month to our classes. Late in the morning I developed pains in my stomach and tried to ignore them, but soon the teacher discovered I could not get up from my seat, the pain was so bad. My mother was called and I was whisked off to the hospital with appendicitis. The doctors told Mama that I kept saying as I was put under, "I want to finger paint!" over and over! LOL!

Doing finger painting with little kids in my teaching years (pre-kinders to second grade), the thing is that they so enjoy it that they will not give up until they wear right through the paper and have nothing to save, to take home or hang up. So, to help with the mess and to help them have some paintings to hang up, I bought a stack of old cafeteria trays at a flea market and would give each child who was painting a tray to paint on instead of paper. They had just as much fun and whenever they got a picture they liked, I would press a paper down on the tray and they had a "print" of their design and could go right on painting!
Also, as another lark, when we were highlighting the letter "P" in reading, I would let them "Print with Pudding". Now that is fun! Same trays, (washed completely clean!!!!), and I gave each kid a little tub of their favorite flavor of pudding.
We would not do any prints of this! Soon they would "eat" their "paint" ! Finger licking good art!

I've been known to do some finger painting in my watercolor washes....great fun!