Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Tutorial: How to Turn a Mess into Fine Art

I kid. Kind of. Did you know that you can buy a few feet of dinky brown wrapping paper at Target for $3.99 and it will wrap 1 large or 3 small gifts? Well, you can. You can also walk one aisle over to the office supplies and pick up a tube of 70 yards of brown parcel paper for $1. I choose the parcel paper and its infinite possibilities. I used it here to wrap the cupcake display for William's first birthday, and I used it again yesterday to contain a big messy art project.

I don't have photos of this because it's a very dangerous thing to have a running toddler in the front yard of a corner house with a camera in one hand and gobs of paint in your other hand. Much of this project was spent guiding my paint-covered and half-naked child back from the edge of the street.

I laid a huge piece (probably 10 feet long) of parcel paper in our driveway and weighted the corners with rocks. I squirted finger paints in big puddles onto the paper and then stripped my son down to his little cloth-diapered bum. Then I let him make a mess. He dabbled his fingers in the paint, he walked through the paint and made muddy little toe prints, he sat in the paint, fell in the paint, slid in the paint, attempted to eat the paint, and then, finally, there was no room left to smear the paint, and so I carried him inside for a bath in the kitchen sink. He had a blast.

Several hours later, when I remembered I'd left a ginormous child's art project in the driveway, I went to retrieve it. The inferno of the Texas heat had dried the paint and very slightly faded it, and the wet paint had crinkled all of the parchment paper. I kind of liked the way it looked, but I don't know where to find a ten-foot long frame for a decent price.

So I cut it up. 

You know that mom who thinks her child is a genius? Well, I guess that mom is me. I love seeing his bright messy work every time I walk through these rooms. I'm kind of thinking of doing a large grid of framed finger paintings. Does anyone else disguise their kiddos' work as fine art?

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