In the Dry Gables: Good Neighbors story “This Is Our Moment,” Seamus, Max, and Marta get excited about bringing a very special guest to see their annual Stratford-on-Pigsty Summer Playhouse production. When the mayor, EB, tells them their plans just won't work, they are initially very disappointed. With a little encouragement from their friends, though, the trio keeps their chins up and they put on a truly wonderful show. And, wait, was that their special guest in the audience after all?
There are few things more collaborative than putting on a play. The actors may be the stars, but without lighting, sets, sound, and costumes, the actors wouldn't get very far. Even the audience has a role to perform as they enjoy and appreciate the work of cast and crew.
Inspired by the set painting that occurs for the Dry Gables play, this week's craft project is similarly collaborative — it's a family splatter paint project.
This project is fun to create and fun to have hanging on your wall. It works best with a big canvas, but while you can buy a new one, don't feel like you have to. A thrift store canvas in good shape — and covered with a layer of white primer to make it new again — will create a lovely texture under you paint.
Another tip? Pick a nice spring day and take that canvas outside. It will make clean-up a snap.
Collaborative Splatter Paint
A drop cloth slightly larger than your canvas (optional)
A large canvas
Several bottles of craft paint
A paint tray
Any painting implement that you can get your hands on (brushes, kitchen utensils, feathers, flowers, toothbrushes, old combs and brushes, ribbons, etc.)
If you don't want residual paint splatters in your work location — or if you're working somewhere that might get your canvas too dirty — begin by putting down a drop cloth. Then lay your canvas on top.
Open the bottles of craft paint. If your kids are accustomed to neat, between-the-lines coloring, I recommend doing something a little zany to start to show them that this is a time when it's okay to be silly. I started by picking up a whole bottle of paint and squirting it all over the canvas. My kiddos thought Mama had gone a bit crazy, but they quickly began laughing and followed my lead.
Once the ice is broken, go wild painting!
Mix colors in the paint tray. Use the brushes to thwap splatters of paint across the canvas. Flick paint from the toothbrushes with your finger. Use the feathers or ribbon to make prints and trails through the paint. Use your fingers even, if you want to. The only rule is that everyone takes part.
Work until the painting looks good to you, then set it up to dry somewhere safe. Keep in mind that some of the paint will continue to drip and slide down the canvas if you let it dry vertically. That's okay, though — it's part of the fun. Once the painting is dry, enjoy your new painting by hanging it on your wall.
If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.