Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Small Peace Offering

This past weekend I was invited to demonstrate painting rocks for a sweet event at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie.  The gardens had been opened for their Secrets in the Garden event.  Twenty two artists had fashioned the most charming little fairy houses which were hidden in bowers and around the grounds.  A storyteller set the mood, families were given a sheet of clues, and then went off to find the houses and leave little offerings for the "residents".

I painted little fairy pins, pendants, and pocket stones, along with pieces for a garden themed chess set I was working on.  Kids connect with rock painting.  They recognize it as something they can do.  One little boy wanted to play chess with me, but the pieces weren't finished yet.  Some children wanted to paint - but the event was not set up for that activity.  Others wanted their parents to buy a piece for them - and there were items for sale.  But often the parents were not ready to purchase one more thing, especially if they felt the child might not take care of it, would throw it in a drawer and go on to the next "must have".  Or perhaps it just wasn't in the budget for that day.  There were a few disappointed children, a couple who had to be pulled away in tears.

It was easy to understand both the childrens' and parents' points of view:  the ones who are so attracted to the colors, the small little treasures that they want for their very own; the others who are often juggling just how often they can give in to the desires that seem never ending.

I was dismayed at being a cause for family disharmony and felt I needed to come up with something that would make the next day go more smoothly for everyone.

I decided to make up little cards:  One Way to Paint a Fairy.  At first I thought I'd show a step by step procedure, but trusting that less is more when it comes to stimulating creativity, I decided to stick with the bare bones.  And then I brought a little basket of rocks.  When the children came to watch I could offer them a choice of a stone and a card so that they could paint their own treasure.  It seemed to work.  Peace reigned in the garden.

1 comment:

  1. Becky, what a magical story! How incredibly thoughtful of you to create those cards. Some of my favorite moments at this past year's art/craft shows have been interactions with children. It is amazing how enthusiastic, understanding, inquisitive, and respectful some children can be about handmade things...

    Becky, again, thank you so much for sharing this story and for being such an inspiring person...! :)