the play of painting
Here is an activity that is not an art class but a creative game.
Children love to play.
In this room the children use paper, paint and brushes as a means for self-discovery and the ability to trace out what is already within, allowing a universal language to emerge.
Unlike art, which is primarily meant to communicate, this function has been removed giving the child the freedom for adventure and infinite possibilities. As the paintings are not shown
to anyone this method allows the child to express himself with confidence. There are no good or bad paintings and no judgment. The only role of the ‘Practitioner’ is to help the children with the tools they need and guide them on how to use these, thus facilitating the game.
In time, the rules of the Play of Painting become clear to the children as they learn the skills necessary to master the use of paint and brushes, and to express their individual creativity within the group. The children are given the opportunity to master the technique of painting on their own and to develop eye/hand co-ordination, visual memory, the power of observation and imagination, and the confidence to express themselves.
The painting room consists of 4 panelled walls 3 meters (10 feet) high and can hold about 14 children in a session. The children are of a mixed age group that gives an interesting dynamic to the Play of Painting avoiding the usual sense of competition. The children come to the painting room for an hour once a week.
When the children enter the room, the Play of Painting begins. The table palette with all its colours and brushes is at the centre of the room. A paper is pinned on the panelled wall inviting the child to paint. If a child has not finished a painting he may continue with it the following week and for as long as he wants. The child may want to add one or more sheets of paper so as to extend the size of his canvas. This is where the Play of Painting can become an incredible game as the child discovers that by adding new sheets of paper the painting may become in time an immense canvas that can even cover an entire wall.
The painting room provides the tools for creativity giving the child the space to look for inner resources known only to him or her self. He learns to be centred and connected to something deeper within while in the midst of others. In this environment and under these conditions a language beyond all nationalities, countries, sexes, tradition and culture, begins to emerge, allowing an organic memory to be released.There is an intrinsic need for every human being to seek and find his true expression, which, due to the conditioning and ignorance of modern day society, may not be considered as an essential part of an integrated development. Who will consider the scribbles and traces of a young child important?