Painting with Friends!

I like to think we are entertaining parents, taking Eva everywhere with us, feeding her interesting things, swinging her around to the sound of her delighted chuckles and throwing her beloved ‘bur…’ (ball) for her again and again. (And again. And again). But one area in which I fall short is messy play. There’s no good excuse for this really, I just need to pre-organise a bit more.

Therefore, imagine my glee when our pal Charlie invited us to her house for a painting session, saving any such organisation on my part!

Charlie is a girl who knows how to do things on a budget; she’d snapped up some £1 canvases from our local Tiger for her little girl Ellie, and some crayola paints, including some metallic ones [claps hands excitedly together in a girly fashion].

A bargain Ikea ‘Lack’ table with the legs lopped down, and some tot’s chairs in the corner of her lounge made a great spot for some serious Arting. The chairs came from the Debra charity shop in Merrow, which is allegedly a great place to snaffle cheap furniture. Charlie decked the girls out in bargain bibs, and we and were ready to go.

The girls get painting!
So my mini Tracey Emin got stuck in, armed with red, pink, purple and silver for a nice added shine. Eva is a cautious, curious child and initially she looked more interested in prodding the paints and licking them – let’s face it, fuchsia does look kind of delicious – but she caught on surprisingly quickly following a quick demo from Charlie, and seemed to really enjoy using the brush.

Ellie is more of a speed-painter so dashed hers off with finger and brush in no time, in keeping with her feisty personality! They were absorbed for a good twenty minutes before the old toddler-twitchiness set in. And there were relatively few power-struggles over the paints.

So, success! And here is Eva’s completed ‘masterpiece’.


Charlie has several of Ellie’s canvases displayed in a row at her place. She picked colours themes for each, and they look rather good, a bit elemental: one fiery, one watery, another in green tones, etc. I might pinch this idea, plus try painting the base canvases a different colour in a cheap acrylic so it doesn’t run when Eva paints over it. Dark would look especially good, I think, especially against brights and metallics.

….anyway I think I might be over-thinking things (once an art student, always an art student!). But, needless to say, these would make a great gift for doting grandparents!

Anyway, cheers Charlie – this has inspired me to get cracking with more messy play. Now we’re at the arse-end of a lovely summer, I’ve a few things on the list for rainy days: yogurt-paint, and cloud dough among them. So I’ll report back on how our efforts to create a Tate Modern exhibition are coming along…

[Thanks to Charlie Seaton for photos and links. You can visit her Home Decor Facebook page here]


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