Here in NSW Australia, the school holidays are upon us. And if you are in a similar boat to me, then you have your kiddos at home and your need to make art is still burning strong. Here are my top hacks for squeezing your own art-making time into family time...
1. Hit the easel or sketchbook after the kiddos are in bed. Ok, ok, ok... I've completely started with the easiest option. Once the kids are in bed, time is your own and art-making is a great way to spend an evening. I'll often pour a glass of rose, light a candle, pop on an art podcast and get painting. There is something magical about this time of the day as if time stands still.
2. Make some art with your children. My girls love making art especially when I make art with them. Go large if you can and, if you are able, go outdoors. Often we will get a large canvas and poster paints and go wild. A great sensory experience, this is most definitely a goer. If you like, you can use this time to teach your little ones about composition and colour mixing and differences in brushstrokes. I find this time especially helpful for my own experimentation so try to pay attention to the different marks that are made, the different colour combinations and so forth so that I can apply it to my own art on another day.
3. Make art alongside the kids. Make a point of setting out limited art supplies on a nice, tidy art table and invite the kids to a special art session! By limiting supplies, the art project will be even more challenging and engaging for them. I often share an example of an artwork and invite my children to recreate that artwork (without perfectionism) on their own paper. And on other days, they enjoy copying exactly what I do on my own canvas. Try to let the children lead you.
4. Sketchbooks! I am not a completely committed sketchbook-sort but they certainly do have their place. They allow me to squeeze in some sketches, some compositional studies, some colour work in-between kid-focused activities. Try it!
5. Get painting in the weeeeeee hours of the morning! Starting the day doing what you love is the best! If you are able, set your alarm just 30 or 45 minutes early and get in some painting time before the rest of the family is up and at 'em When the family wakes, they will be so inspired by your latest creativity, that they want to join in... et voila... you end up with even more art time!
6. Find a medium that works for you when you're on the road. Perhaps pencils or perhaps a small watercolour pan set, fit in some art time when you're next at the park or the beach with your family. You can observe the world around you, do some people watching or nature observation and then work to integrate that into your artworks at home. This is a powerful way to freshen up your approach and add depth to your creations.
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