Painting a Birthday Gift.....

@tess1960 (2386)
United States
November 27, 2007 9:02am CST
My 8 year old granddaughter was at my home for a visit the Sunday before Thanksgiving. As this year my daughters birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day this was on my granddaughters mind. I had laundry and housework to do but decided this time with her was more precious. After asking her what she wanted to give her mommy for her birthday she replied,"I want to paint a picture of flowers that will last forever". As my daughter and son-in-law are separated now and the little one is being 'shared' I decided I could help make this happen. I sat her down at the dining room table and off I went to the junk/craft/sewing/storage room. There I have stored many different crafting items. "What color of paint do you want", I called out. "Blue and green and red flowers and pink too, lots of pink", she replied. After gathering the paint and brushes I went looking for the watercolor paper. Where is that paper? I still don't know! Ok, how about the ready to paint artists canvases I bought. "Hurry grandma", she insisted, "What's taking so long?" Well I finally found just what I was looking for. Oh and stickers, "how about some stickers little one", I called out to her from the craft room. "Fairies grandma and flowers too", she replied. Grabbing a paper plate for a paint palette and some napkins I sat down with my granddaughter and all of the supplies I had gathered. I briefly explained to her what the canvas was and that to prevent smearing she would paint top to bottom as she goes. The sky she painted a beautiful bright blue with straight strokes and swirly strokes, side to side and up and down. She left room on the left side and said "That's where the sun goes". Oh and what a sun. Bright yellow with gold and yellow sunrays and she decided the sun should sparkle so she added gold dots and gold streaks to it. Then a few swirly strokes of yellow in the sky too. Well, grandma's idea of top to bottom didn't quite work as in her artistic eye the grass had to be next. She picked a dark green color and started covering the bottom of the canvas and then we added some yellow to change the hue and she slathered it on all across the bottom and about half way up to the sky. We made a still lighter green and she painted in blades of grass moving every which way. There must have been a slight breeze in her mind's eye. Then came the flowers. "Stem first grandma." With a dark green she made that first stem right in the middle of her painting and added two leaves, one on each side. She painted another and had me make the leaves. I used a slightly lighter color and added veins to my leaves. "Oh I can do that", she said. Now for the flower tops. She looked over at the wooden roses I found at a craft show and decided she would paint roses. And that she did! I was so surprised to hear her instucting herself as she painted. "First you make a cup, then you make this side a little higher, then you connect this side to this side. Ok grandma, now you do the next one." And that I did, just as she had instructed. She painted 2 more for a total of four, two in red and two in pink. I then showed her how to make the green parts at the stem and she did that too. After coloring them in with the paint she decided they needed sparkle too and she added just a touch of gold paint to each rose. "Perfect", she said. Now for the fairies. I told her she could pick 3 fairies from the sheet and she could pick where where to put them. One is standing in the grass on the far right with her fairy wand adding the fairy dust to this rose. The others are flying above the flowers adding sparkles here and there. I discouraged her from putting one fairy on the sun. "The sun is very hot, she might get burned you know!" Then came the sheet of flowers. Little dots of flowers, some with glittery centers. She placed a few of these here and there in the grass and then used some paint to make some of her own. "All done", she declared. I remembered the back had a place to list the date and artists name. I had her write her initials on the corner of the front of the painting explaining every artists signs her work and then holding it carefully the two of us wrote all of the important info on the back. She gave her painting the title "Fairyland". It's dated and even says Happy Birthday Mommy. Then off she went to her play area in the basement to hide it. A few days later I checked on it and one of the fairies was starting to lift so I mod podged the whole thing. No way that wonderful scene will ever change. My daughter and all the other family members were overwhelmed by this painting. My granddaughter is a very active child and it amazed everyone that she sat still long enough to finish it. Her mommy... well let's just say it tore at my heart strings to give that painting up and it tore at hers to be receiving it. So now I have a little crafter developing in the next generation. And that makes me SMILE!! I just wish I had scanned it or taken a photo of it to keep in my memory book. Somehow I doubt I'll get it out of my daughters possession long enough even to do that!!!
3 responses
@ElicBxn (60835)
• United States
27 Nov 07
Oh, it sounds just splendid! Maybe you can talk your daughter into bringing it over to scan. Surely she'd like to brag about it to her friends online too! And your grand daughter is lucky to have a grandmother like you to do things with. My grandparents were 1500 miles away & my mom - well, lets just say, isn't crafty.
1 person likes this
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
28 Nov 07
Thank you for your kind words. I miss my grandparents dearly. I had mine to include a great grandmother around when I was growing up and I did learn a lot from them but realize now I could have learned so much more. I hope you have tried your hand at crafty things. My mom was not a crafty person when I was growning up and she now finds she can do things she always thought she couldn't. She now quilts and sews and even crochets beads on socks. I find doing things with my hands relaxing and enjoyable.
@ElicBxn (60835)
• United States
28 Nov 07
Oh, I craft up a storm! I started by teaching myself needlepoint in college, then cross stitch, now I'm beading and I did crochet for a year making gifts. I've always got a project of 4 going on.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
27 Nov 07
It's really nice to see someone taking the time to encourage young ones. Too many times adults are too busy or too worried about messes to take the time with children. My Nephew stays overnight off and on and we do things together like making a family tree, drawing, reading together, all kinds of things. Luckly, I get to keep the finished items b/c my oldest Brother (his dad) isn't interested in stuff like that. Kids need all the encouragement they can get so keep up the good work. By the way, you might get her mom to take a photo of it or maybe you can take one when you go to visit. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
27 Nov 07
Taking a photo when I go to visit her at home with mommy is a good idea. Then I could get a photo of the two of them with it also. I agree, too many people spend too much time worrying about the small mess that may be created or the chores that are waiting to be done. I have always loved making things with my hands and I hope to instill this in my granddaughter also.
@patgalca (14309)
• Orangeville, Ontario
27 Nov 07
That sounds beautiful. My daughters have made some pretty impressive works of art. They are humble though. It's great when kids can come up with some creativity. If only I could get my kids to write. My 14 year old is amazed at my poetry and wishes she could write like that. Alas, they are both athletes, but very good ones. Watching them participate in sports gives me great pride.
1 person likes this
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
27 Nov 07
Worry not about that artistic ability in them. It is there but it is just not time for them to find it. I admire athletic kids. It is so hard to put yourself out there with the chance of failing in front of all those people. And yet we have your athletes that do this all of the time. It is great that you are encouraging them. Continue to share your poetry with that14 year old of yours, the fact she enjoys reading it and envies your ability shows it is hiding in her too.