Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Painting with a One Year Old in your Studio

Now that Phin is walking and doesn't happily hang out in my wrap anymore, it's become a bit more interesting in the studio. I still have the pack 'n play and he does play in there sometimes, but he really wants to be on the move exploring. I'm amazed at how flexible I have become and how much I can accomplish in 10 minute bursts. He sits on my lap, he draws on a piece of paper I put on the wall next to my painting, and I've recently decided to let his presence in the studio be seen in the work.

On Monday we did our first collaboration, as you can see by this detail shot.



I have begun a 32"x34" painting on canvas with acrylic. In my pursuit of exploring the paint, I did not prime the canvas first with gesso. Instead, I painted some marks directly on the raw canvas and used medium to coat some of the other parts of the canvas. That way I could really play with the surface I was working on- the paint goes on so differently to raw canvas versus one with a paint or medium ground. The collaboration came when there was a spot in the lower part of the painting I needed to "mess up". Enter baby. I gave him a mechanical pencil and let him work in that spot making both pencil marks and moving the wet paint around. He enjoyed it and I love watching him discover different materials and all the ways he can use them. I'm not sure how "present" his mark will be in my future work, but I do want to continue to paint and I do want to continue to have him with me as much as possible. So we'll just see how it goes.


Here is the full painting in progress and a studio shot of my guy:





Have a wonderful week and be well!
Melanie

3 comments:

bridgette said...

Love this post!

When Noah was about 3 months I met up with some women artists who also had children, older than noah, some grown already. And they told me that I would learn to work in "stolen moments". Like the 10 minute bursts you mentioned. It's amazing what can get done in 10 minutes. Also what can't get done either. :)

Wendy said...

I'm sure it helps having some studio space. It's a big pain for me because we have a very small living space so it's also my work space. So, when I'm done working I have to pack everything up and put it away and drag it back out when I'm ready to work again. Whew!

Melanie P. Brown said...

Oh yes, it does help having a space for painting that does not have to move. I do have to make a safe corral for him soon- he's not enjoying the pack-n-play so much anymore.