Before the holidays, my family was invited to try out Canvas Jam, a studio where kids can go wild with canvas and paint under Cindy Rose Leech's gentle, unobstrusive guidance. On the initial consultation, Cindy and I selected the colour palette (based on my home décor) for what would be a gift to my husband that would hang in our bedroom.
The finished product was a beautiful masterpiece (as you'll see below.) No macaroni art here folks. I took what we learned and tried to recreate the results at home, and while our versions turned out OK, the amount of clean-up and staining afterwards was hardly worth it (though the grandparents loved their presents.) So try this at home, but preferably in a basement or garage where you won't mind paint on your walls.
|Start with your base colour (in this case white) of washable, non-toxic latex paint and have your child apply it with a big thick brush. Globs and drips are acceptable, but pop any bubbles gently. The key is to guide them without interfering too much, so that real art happens.|
|If the paint is on thick, take a favourite object, like a toy car and run it through to give the painting texture. Throw the truck in the sink before anyone drives it over your Grandmother's antique Turkish rug (take it from me, kids have a way of getting around tarps).|
|The key to Cindy's pupils producing fabulous work is how she keeps each colour separate. Genius right? I bet all the paintings in your house were essentially brown before this tip, too. Keep the pre-mixed paint in clear plastic containers so excess can be re-used at a later date. Make sure to close that lid up tight. |
|Our finished Canvas Jam piece. Isn't it splendid? The long splashes were made with a syringe, which Cindy discovered as a way to take the scariness out of needles while painting with children at Sick Kids. Daddy was surprised and truly impressed.|
|Don't forget to get them to sign and date it. Allow your painting to dry (some place where the kids can't get to it). Then spray the painting with aprotective varnish. |
|Here's what our homemade versions look like. I'll spare you the photo of my kitchen floor. The faint of heart should call Canvas Jam at 416-971-7912.|