As I alluded to in my previous post, I have a great love for Color Me Mine. It has been a way for me to very happily create some very practical art for our home. We eat off of it. That’s about as practical as you can get. And I have been very lucky that both of my children are generally so entranced by their own painting and scratching that I am allowed a little time to get my own Julia Cameron on. On four separate occasions I have been allowed about 90 minutes of semi-uninterrupted time. And by uninterrupted I mean one trip to the bathroom with two children, three trips to the paint counter and four different conversations about how, no we can’t paint a ceramic pig sitting on a motorcycle even though they think it is SO CUTE because where will we put it and again, no, sleeping with it isn’t an option.
My latest M.O. with the plates is a variety of colors in different segments and contrasting patterns. This time things started to go off the rails a bit earlier so I thought it best to stick to one color palette. It’s a time saver. Most of the blue-ish bottles are kept together. But then, everyone’s behavior evened out a little bit and I thought, how about a lovely red surprise in the center? Fantastic. So there we are enjoying somebody’s Sirius girl singer/songwriter station, drinking up our deliciousness from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf when the little one gets bored. Her favorite thing to do is paint her plate pink and brown – about 4 coats- which make it so blobby that it will take at least 4 days for it to properly dry. But, she’s clever and she needs to fill her time so on our first visit there she discovered a pencil. Instead of drawing on the plate first, she shook things up and started scratching into her blobs. Yes, initially it made me insane. Didn’t she want to use her brush to smooth out the blobs so it would dry faster blah, blah, blah? That’s what I would want to do. But the more she scratched the more quiet and focused she became until I realized I was a fool to waste this time trying to get her to do her thing “right” since it was affording me a lot of time to do my own thing. However, it turns out we all grow as artists. While scratching bought me a lot of time on our initial visits, time I foolishly felt entitled to, it evaporated on this visit. I love this plate because it is a physical representation of the time when one small person decided our time at the store was over. It happened right at the end of the white dots. There was some arm-hugging happening after repeated requests not to grab Mommy’s arm while I had the paint, but since I didn’t want to look like a complete jerk refusing hugs from my child I wasn’t clear enough about the seriousness of my request. So the final hug caused the running together of two dots which I tried in vain to turn into a swirl. The other swirls are actually arcs of frustration played out while I tried to get my thoughts together and not yell at her in front of lots of other craft-loving peoples. But, all in all, it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought. More swirls=less yelling seems like exactly the right equation for public art production.