Thursday, April 16, 2009

Painting with Fingers, Painting with Toes

Biddy and I finger-painted the other day. 

In order to prepare, I took Biddy's pants and socks off, changing his diaper in the process (out of courtesy and habit), and put on an almost-too-small shirt we didn't mind getting messy. I also swept the kitchen floor to rid any fallen crumbs. We got out his paints. He has a set we've used before when making a Father's Day masterpiece but he wanted to use his new paints–the ones he'd been given for Christmas. We then got out the big roll of kraft paper.

I laid two pieces of paper on the linoleum. Biddy was giddy as I opened each tube, removing the foil seal, allowing the paint to flow freely. He began by squirting a big dollop of red and then gleefully smearing it. Blue was next–squirt then smear. Green–squirt, smear. Yellow–squirt, smear. And round-robin to red again. 

While Biddy was soaking his sheet of paper with color, I daintily tried to channel Monet and make a masterpiece of my own. I quickly abandoned being Monet's apprentice however, as I got so absorbed in Biddy's process. He was fascinating to watch. He would apply color and then thoughtfully consider where the next hue would go. Sometimes he used a broad stroke while other times a simple finger swirl would do.


At one point, we thought it would be fun to make footprints so Biddy stood up and stepped in the red. Squishy and cold between the toes. I wanted him to walk across the paper but instead, he decided to do a happy dance–half on the paper and half on the linoleum. Up until this point, both floor and Biddy were relatively paint-free but that didn't last long. As soon as his wet red foot hit the dry white floor, he slipped and slid and lost his footing. As he dropped to the ground, he began to giggle. I helped him up as he continued to giggle, and slip and slide, and fall down and giggle, and get up and giggle, and slip and slide and giggle some more. It was so funny I had to get it on video, this time with blue paint. We've watched it several times since and each time he sees himself, he giggles once more. Enjoy.

In all, Biddy made five beautiful paintings that day. Three have dried and are signed by the artist, while the fourth, his body art, washed away when he bathed, and the fifth, the kitchen floor, was mopped and scoured and is now shiny once again. 

I realized, as I carried Biddy dripping with paint directly to the bath from the kitchen and again as I spic-and-spanned the floor, why we don't do this activity all too often. While prep time is a piece of cake, clean up is excessive and makes mommy grumble.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps if you got one of those cheap plastic paint tarps to put underneath the paper and that would cover the whole floor the clean up would be simpler? As he gets older you can have a smaller piece of paper and bring his little table into the kitchen and keep the paper on the table. Then Mom can have fun too.