Sunday, February 28, 2010

The color of your days

We dusted off the tempura paint bottles the other night, a weeknight no less, to appease the muses of two little boys. I relented easily because it has been too long since the boys have painted. I have actually been feeling guilty these past months knowing that we haven't taken out the tempura paint. I've decided not to beat myself up about it, though, considering that my boys have ample opportunities to use a myriad of art materials on any given day. In fact, I sort of view books and art supplies right up there with groceries. So on that particular weeknight, we fed our bodies and then tasted the rainbow with not a Skittle in sight.

I don't really know how the hue of our paints matches up to a rainbow, or a bag of Skittles for that matter, but I think it is safe to say that they come pretty close. Now, with this piece you will see my youngest's interpretation of a cow. There are purple clouds in the blue sky along with one stray orange cloud on the left. There is red hay underlined by green grass. Looking at this piece really makes me think of Dr. Seuss's My Many Colored Days. It is an excellent primer for children regarding expressionism in art without coming off as a tutorial. Seuss equates colors to emotions and matches up these emotions with equally symbolic animals. For example, On bright red days how good it feels to be a horse and kick my heels. As Seuss states, You'd be surprised how many ways I change on Different Colored Days.

My oldest, created three pieces during this painting session. All of his pieces personified objects with the classic smiley face that you see in this rainbow. There are several aspects of this painting that speak to me. First, I appreciate the slight tilt to the overall arc of the rainbow. I probably sound like I am overanalyzing, but the diagonal created helps move the viewer's eye around the picture a little more than if it wasn't there. Another thing I find enjoyable is the arrangement of colors. Red is normally placed first or on top of the rainbow. He reversed that and I like it. Finally, between the brightness of the colors, the way they blend and the big smiley face, the picture evokes complete happiness and innocense. I can see it brightening any day of mine.

And yes, I also probably really like it because my son made it.

But, a key element in talking to children about art is knowing and being able to tell them why you like it, or in my case, why I love it!

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