The museum in our tiny Bentonville town is brilliant. Crystal Bridges not only offers amazing art, but they also organize great activities. This Saturday we got to create something Pollock during a Drop-In-Drawing session. I experienced that creating the same thing, with the whole family, is very insightful.
Of course I create with the children. I give them paper, a pair of scissors, glue and then they do something that often requires my assistance.
‘How does this knife work?
Me: Knife, what Knife?!
Mom, I accidentally cutted – spelling is another thing that requires my attention – my skirt.
Me: Bobbie, WHY did you do that?
Well, I actually thought that I wouldn’t be able to cut it, but I was! Isn’t that very funny?
Mom, I need to make ten art projects for school.
Me: Okay, when are they due?
Doing arts and crafts with the children can be stressful for a variety of reasons.
So we went to Crystal Bridges and walked to the art-room. The ladies helping everyone, showed us how to splash paint on a canvas in a Jackson Pollock drip-style painting technique kind of way. They also briefly explained two techniques and mentioned that your paintbrush shouldn’t touch the surface of the canvas.
All five of us took a canvas, put on an apron and off we went.
Boris immediately got started. He used one paintbrush, switched to using two and eventually used five paintbrushes at the same time. He finished in five minutes.
Bobbie also got started immediately. She used one paintbrush and followed her own lengthy path. She could have stayed there forever.
Lucie waited for Joost to start, looked at Boris and Bobbie and asked what the techniques were again?
Joost got started immediately and invented ‘the big drop’. He held a paintbrush above his head and waited for drops of paint to fall down.
I froze and then started painting, immediately touching the canvas with my paintbrush, mixing colors and doing everything differently than I was told (which made me feel bad and I wish I could have started with a new canvas and I’m telling you it’s tiring to be me).
It was such a meaningful experience! I can only recommend doing it. Of course you create with your children but not like this. When do you make the same thing, with the same materials within the same timeframe? I can only speak for myself and in my household it doesn’t happen daily.
Oh and this is what we made. Who made what, that’s the question ;)