Who doesn’t love baby art? Me. That’s who.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore a child’s efforts and thoroughly feel loved when a kid creates something for me, but so often I feel that we either give them materials that are too cheap or too temporary (or worse, a sad combo of both) to warrant a place of honor in our houses.
This is especially true when it comes to arts & crafts for babies and toddlers who are still putting items into their mouths. Edible paint is usually either too thick to manipulate on paper properly, or if watered down to a more manageable consistency, too transparent. Colors tend to be a bland muddied pastel. Worse still, they mold after a week or two. Edible all-natural crayons leave light colored, barely noticeable marks, even when wielded by an adult.
I find it difficult to watch as my daughter struggles to compose a gift for a loved one using these hideous supplies. Therefore, I did what any artist and mom would do, I concocted ways for her to enjoyably compose colorful, malleable, striking, and permanent art work using traditional art materials.
For Father’s Day last year I decided it would be great if Faye could make a permanent painting that captured her current physical abilities. That narrowed it down to pressing, crawling, and dragging. An idea quickly emerged. Off to the art store we went to gather student grade acrylic paints, a large pre-stretched, pre-gessoed museum canvas, and a very large Filbert brush. We also stopped at a home improvement store for a large roll of clear plastic tarp and blue painter’s tape. Less than an hour work later we had a beautiful painting and a memory that would stick with us (or maybe just me) for a lifetime.
I’m not going to lie – it was an expensive endeavor for a baby’s art project, but the investment was completely worthwhile. The stunningly colorful 3′ x 4′ painting has a place of honor on our kitchen wall. Whenever someone inquires as to the artist, they are floored to learn it was Faye at only 9.5 months old. The best part though, is that every other week or so Faye will point to the painting and tell us with a huge smile that it is her painting, that she made it.