The Canvas

Our objective:

Anthony and I are very artistic people and have always wanted to incorporate art as part of our family traditions and growth. This weekend we decided to start what we hope to be a continuous family tradition for the five of us. We decided to do something that allowed each family member artistic freedom and self discovery while working as a team to create something special to display in our home as a reminder of one of our favorite family memories: our weekend beach getaway to El Matador.

Supplies:

We went out to our local art store and purchased a large 48×48 white canvas and five acrylic colors that we felt symbolized that day. We decided on a metallic blue, a burnt red, a bright yellow, light gray, and sand color. Everything costed us under $60. We went home, laid out some tarp on our bedroom floor and began our project.

The Meaning:

We each took a turn to choose the color that we felt best represented each person. Anthony chose the blue because as man of the house, provider, and father, we felt the blue’s bright and strong hue symbolized him best. We decided on the burnt red for me because its vibrant color adds a curve ball to the rest of the color pallet just as my spontaneous and wild personality adds some spunk to our home environment. Next, we decided yellow fit Adyline (aged 6) best because her sweet and silly personality makes parenthood and family adventures bright and fun. Then we decided the sand color fit Xander (aged 2) best because it is an earthy color and boy does the earths energy work wonders on this one. If you know him, you know he has a lot of personality and we have struggled with his strong and aggressive personality from day one, but recently we started to use natural remedies such as essential oils and stone bracelets to work on calming his moods and have seen a complete change in him. So we felt this natural color fit him best. Finally, we left the gray for Indie, because we felt its cool toned color matched his happy and mellow personality best.

The Process:

We put on some Jack Johnson tunes and got to work. Anthony went first. He squeezed a glob of paint on his hands, rubbed them together, and began to work his hands around the blank canvas. For about 3 minutes he allowed his hands to move in which ever direction they moved. The outcome was a circular form in the middle and a wave at the bottom. Once he was done, we did the same to his face just for fun.

I went up next. This is when things began to get difficult. How would apply my piece without ruining Anthony’s? That was the challenge we, as the adults, learned to face throughout this project. We both have strong personalities and a bit of perfectionism, so we both admitted that we cringed several times throughout the project. However, we also admitted it to be somewhat therapeutic for us in learning to break away from our comfort zone in that aspect. My hands moved in a completely different manner. My piece turned out to look like waves without a pattern. Just between both of us, you could see how different our artistic hand is.

We decided to go oldest to youngest with the kids so Adyline went up next. You could tell she was quite hesitant to color over our colors so we had to give her a brief talk to let her know it’s okay to color over ours and remind her that we wanted her to do whatever she wanted her entire hand to do. She definitely added some spunk to the painting. Her piece was more spotty and dotted about three different areas of the canvas versus moving all over the canvas continuously.

Xander went up next. By this time, Anthony and I were in full force cringe mode, but we continued to work on ourselves to allow the kids to have their artistic freedom without intervening and worrying about how it looks. Xander was a bit unsure about getting paint all over his hands, but eventually he moved his hands in splats motions over Adyline’s yellow which we found interesting considering he could have painted anywhere else on the canvas. It’s incredible our even children can convey their personality through a simply art project.

Lastly, we rubbed some paint on Indie’s hands and I laid him on the canvas. He he didn’t move much, but he did love feeling the texture of the paint within his fingers and so his piece came out small but clumpy. We loved it because it added texture to the painting just as he, though small, adds so much life to our home.

Reflection:

The outcome was absolutely beautiful and significant for us in many ways. We learned about our artistic personalities, we challenged ourselves, we worked together, and most importantly we created and added something to our home with meaning. We plan on doing this every quarter to see how our artistic hand changes with time, especially the kids. It was such an awesome, quick (under 30 minutes), and memorable project that we encourage you and your family to do the same whether you are artistic or not. Discover your hue, movement, and texture. Discover what your family creates. It’s a beautiful bonding experience!

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