Sunday, July 29, 2012

45/365: Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Finger Paint

Today I made:
my kind of manicure...

I've had the urge to paint for days, but now that we're home from our trip, jet lag has put a damper on my creative energy. I showed up in my art space anyway, like I promised myself I would. No plan, just play- that is what I needed tonight. So I did the most playful thing I could think of at the moment: good ol' finger painting. Remember the joys of finger painting as a kid: pushing and pulling the slippery paint around in fluid movements, getting as close as you possibly could to your materials and making an artful mess? Those were the days. 

Well I think we are never too old for this freeing form creative expression! There's something delightfully visceral about it.  I love the feeling of the rough canvas and the buttery paint under my fingers. It's a great way to explore acrylic paints to learn more about how the colors cover and blend, or just to play with laying certain colors side by side to find a pleasing palette. Try getting both hands involved. Using your left hand gives your creative right brain a boost of energy! Explore with each finger, one at a time to see the different amounts of control you get. If you let the paint dry for a couple minutes, you can etch into it with your fingernail, letting other colors or bare canvas peek through and adding words or designs to your painting. With acrylic paint, the clean up is even easier than cleaning brushes. 

I learned today that using my fingers as painting tools is a fun way to add variety to my paintings. 
It's also a playful warm up that connects me with my materials and makes for a great ten minute art exercise if all I've got in me is to dabble with some paint. Hooray for big kid finger painting! Is it weird that I'm craving a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and a nap?

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