A Paintbrush is a Magic Wand

A paintbrush is a magic wand that in the hands of a child has the power to unleash a world of unfettered imagination.  A child’s mind is full of possibility where trees can be purple and skies are green with orange clouds.  Luckily kids haven’t learned yet how things SHOULD be and why should they?  Isn’t creativity one of the most important skills that anyone can possess no matter what profession we are in?  Creativity can help us solve the seemingly unsolvable problems and work with sometimes the most difficult people.

My daughter is four years old and to this day I have never bought her a coloring book.  I don’t want her to have to think that she has to color within the lines.  Why not instead give her a blank notebook where she can fill the page with all that is unfolding in her rapidly growing brain.  Her world is a world where all things are possible, where a paintbrush is a magic wand that can turn Mommy into a tiger, or a princess and stuffed animals into talking beings.

At Studio 12 we are fortunate to see toddlers everyday taking paintbrushes and turning them into magic wands.  They transform blank pieces of pottery like coffee mugs and plates into worlds of color depicting family members, favorite pets and all kinds of things.  It is hard for us adults to just let them go and not transfer our rules onto them, where the grasses must be green, and the oceans blue; where every blank piece of pottery must be filled with color and colors can’t be mixed.  But if we can let go of our pre-conceived notions of what art is suppose to be and just let our children go, we might find that what they create is more beautiful than we could have imagined.

To help bridge the gap between our world of what should be and the world of what can be here’s a few tips to help.  If you have a piece of pottery or certain gift you are making in mind then  talk it over with your toddler ahead of time about the piece you want to make, such as a coffee mug for grandma.  Let them help by choosing which mug to make.  Start with an array of light colors, allowing your kids to cover the pottery as they like, which could be with tons of paint or just a few brush strokes. With light colors such as yellow, light green and orange the colors can mix together and still look great. Definitely leave black on the shelf, while dark colors are attractive to little ones they can quickly over run their work.  Save the blacks and dark browns for last when those little fingers can be used to create a personal touch.  Dark finger prints on a light painting can be transformed into all kinds of cute creatures such as turtles, crabs and jelly fish to delight even the most discriminating art critic!

Hands and fingers become adorable creatures

So let those paint brushes be magic wands transforming you and your child’s world into worlds and worlds of possabilities!

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About Carolyn Schena

Studio 12 is a working studio and gallery owned and operated by husband and wife artists Gary and Carolyn Schena. The Schenas' art work includes pottery, glass fusion and mixed media. Located in Avon, North Carolina on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, studio 12 welcomes all ages to paint pottery, make mosaics or try glass fusion. The Studio 12 gallery is filled with hand Crafted American art with a focus on North Carolina Artists.

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