Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When art goes bad

Last December when I started this blog my first post was about an art class that Lucy and were taking. The blog was so new at the time I didn’t know how to post pictures. Eventually I learned the posting process and since have posted numerous shots including the very hungry caterpillar that Lucy made. This caterpillar, and the class in general, were examples of art going well.

Looking back there was one incident that should have been foreshadowing for a recent “art going bad” experience. The art class incident was during a class that we were finger painting. Lucy told me that she was done, so we went to the bathroom and washed our hands. In the bathroom there was a cool stool, foam soap, and an automatic paper towel dispenser. Lucy really enjoyed all of these. When we returned to the class Lucy announced that she wanted to go wash her hands again. I told her that her hands were clean and that we didn’t need to wash any more. After taking a couple seconds to process this information, she reached out and ran her fingers through the paint that was still sitting out. She then help her paint filled hand up toward my face and without saying a word communicated, “I outsmarted you this time dad.” Back to the bathroom we went!?!?

While this story also serves as foreshadowing for the numerous future times that she will outsmart me; I used this story today to show her willingness to get dirty in the name of art.

With Lucy’s willingness to get dirty not in mind, I recently thought some outside foot painting might be fun. I envisioned 2 year old foot prints in various directions and colors making a cool picture. Ultimately my vision proved to be as disconnected from reality as those who thought Favre was really retiring.

In preparation for our art event I put down newspaper, rolled out the paper she/we were going to walk across, got out paint, and prepared a wash bucket. Conceptually she would dip her feet in the paint on the plates at one end of the paper, walk across the paper creating precious footprints, rinse her feet off in the bucket, and then come back to the start and do it again with a different color.

The reality of what happened is listed in pictures and bullet points below.

• After 2 and half years of pledging allegiance to pink as her favorite color on this day she only wanted to use black and brown.
• A foot full of paint is apparently a bit slipper because she was sliding all over creating black and brown streaks that looks very little like feet.
• After a couple trips up and down the paper, getting her hands involved seemed like the most logical next step right.
• “Daddy, why do I have to stay on the newspaper?” was a very commonly heard question.
• Internally a common question was why I didn’t use washable paint. My internal (and very incorrect answer) was that the puff paint type stuff that we used would be much more colorful. Also, since we are creating footprints that would later cut out, framed, and admired forever we need it to be good colorful paint.
• The wash bucket and roll of paper towel clearly weren’t enough for cleaning, so the shirt and shorts needed to be used for wiping. (The camera didn't arrive until long after the shirt had been removed.)

What a masterpiece!?!?!?!
The feet in the above picture belong to mom. She eventually received a text titled HELP! and came down with the camera and clean hands. After mom got her laughter under control, she recommended a run through the sprinkler, to at least take one layer of paint off.
Now that the paint has dried and newspaper and paper towel have been picked up I look back on the project with a smile. I makes me realize that memories like these are ones that I will look back and really cherish. Of course, the cleaner and more traditional memories like baptism, first day of school, and high school graduation will be cherished, the memories that unplanned (and often messy) will hold a unique spot in my memory bank.

1 comment:

  1. That's a fantastic story/memory ~ glad you captured it on camera. :)