Sometimes I have to start out by painting something on my arm to get the ball rolling. This time I had my daughter and son-in-law volunteer so that really helped. Before I knew it the line had grown and I was back to full speed again.
Fortunately there were lots of things for the kids to do at the street party so no one got too impatient. At one point my daughter pitched in by doing the prep for some of the more involved faces, blocking in the colour. (She could do it all really. She is very “crafty”.) They gave me a tent so I was out of the sun. It was a great set up. I do really enjoy it. I get in “the zone”, a sort of calm focus that I enjoy when painting just about anything.
I don’t mean to put too much importance on the whole face painting thing because it really doesn’t take much to make them happy. I try to really treat each kid as a client. I tell them that I want to come as close to what they imagine as I can and that they can be the art director. I love to see a kid really enjoy the result.
I like kids, they are, even at their worst, a positive force. One little guy came back to have his face redone after I had packed up the stuff. I could not “unpack” and I told him, I know you are disappointed. That is hard but you can handle it. I know it. You are going to feel better. He wailed a bit. I got the impression his mom would have done just about anything to get me to open up my kit. He did manage to get distracted by a water pistol that I helped him fill up from the drinking water. Soon we were both laughing as he chased me around the yard shooting at me. We were friends again.
I was there for four hours! As I said, I did get a few more breaks than usual and some help. They had a parade of bikes that the kids decorated and I was offered a hot dog and a beer at the end. I was exhausted but happier than I have been for a while! It was fun!
This Saturday, early before the heat and the crowds I took my mother to the Taste of Lawrence. There were street artists!
The artists were young people from Mural Routes. “Mural Routes is dedicated to training and supporting mural artists and communities involved in mural arts through teaching, learning and sharing initiatives in mural art together. Here you will find updates on our continuum of Education programs, from “Step x Step: Introduction to Mural Art” (for ages 14+, no skill level required), to “Leadership Training in Mural Making” (for emerging youth artists), and our annual Symposium (for professional development).”
You can check out the great stuff they do at: http://www.muralroutes.ca !
There were dancers and a midway and lots of food. We opted for ice coffee from a nice air conditioned coffee shop where we could watch the crowds and then headed home!
I am sad to say we missed Disco Nation’s performance!
They look awesome!
It was suggested that a clown might be too scary for small children so I went just as Rio the Facepainter. First up was this little girl who wanted to be a clown! Ha!
She told me she was going to be a facepainter when she grew up!
I will be facepainting in the Broadview/Danforth area on June 8th, which is north of Riverdale. I love Riverdale!
I haven’t done this for a while. I hope it goes well!
The photo of the bridge is by Icelandpenny.
Face painting kids is fun especially when I meet a kid who wants to pretend to be a character or animal because it involves exploring fearlessness in a safe way. One young boy who was becoming a tiger told me,
“Tigers are really patient.” (I complimented him on sitting so nicely while I put on the make-up.) He went on: “They have to wait very quietly for their prey AND THEN THEY POUNCE!”
Ha! He was a very clever tiger!
I am often the first clown a kid has met. With all the negative representation on television and a somewhat subconscious fear of masks and make-up hiding a person’s identity it is understandable some children will prefer to hang back.
I do not believe in pressuring a child to participate. I really think it is important that kids get to observe clowns however!
The process of “clowning” is very valuable to the brain, for the clown’s and for the audience’s brains.
Clowning is an opportunity to look at ourselves differently. It opens up the possibility for play and gives us a chance to laugh about things we might otherwise worry about, like “being different” “looking foolish” or “being SURPRISED!”
I felt a little silly at first, bringing my paints but I wasn’t sure there weren’t going to be some kids. As the party progressed however a few people said they wouldn’t mind… I think this one turned out rather well!
I had a really great time! Every one was very nice and let me photograph my work!