Last week, I posted about our tall paintings, including a video from Holton Rower, the artist who inspired us to give it a go, demonstrating the pouring technique he used to create finished works like this one.
Many readers asked to see photos of our work when it was dry.
As a preschool teacher in a cooperative, I think very little about how our artwork will look when it's "dry," mainly because preschool art should always be about the process of creation, but also because with all the parents working with me in the classroom I don't feel the pressure many of my colleagues do to send home beautiful finished artwork as a kind of evidence of what we did all day. And in that regard, I was totally satisfied with this process of pouring paint and watching it flow and mix together.
That said, as an artist myself (and here's a link to my online gallery), I'm intrigued how differently our process "finished" compared to those of the original artist.
For one thing, our pieces clearly lacked the symmetry of Mr. Rower's works, which I assume can be attributable to the fact that preschoolers may not have possessed (or cared to possess) as steady and consistent a pouring hand as a professional artist, and our work and drying surfaces were obviously inadequately level, causing the paint to sort of flow in one direction more than others.
Our painting surface also leaves something to be desired in comparison to Rower's brilliant work. He uses plywood, which appears to be primed. We just used raw wood and raw corrugated cardboard, which meant our paint was absorbed a great deal as it dried, reducing the thickness and shine which is one of the qualities I like in Rower's pieces.
Not to mention the fact that cardboard tends to warp as the paint dries and contracts.
And, of course, the biggest difference of all I think is that we used glue mixed with a little tempera for both budgetary purposes as well as to make the inevitable laundry efforts a bit easier, while Rower uses acrylic paint, which is always going to dry with a more vibrant finish than glue and tempera.
When we do this again, I'd like to try using primed wood as our painting surface, I think, and put a little more thought into where all these tall paintings will sit to dry for the 2-6 days it took them. I might even like to make one large one as a group project, perhaps even trying acrylic paint, but only after warning parents in advance. But as a preschool with a limited budget, the stars would have to align just right for all that to happen.
In the meantime, I'll just send out a thank you to Holton Rower for adding this fun new process to Woodland Park's curriculum and keep an eye on him for ideas we can steal for the future. And to reiterate my theory that the only difference between an artist and a child is that an artist sees beauty and stops, while kids see beauty and keep right on going.