Recently Addie, my just turned four year old, and I decided she should paint a really, really big painting for her room.  I pulled out some large watercolor paper, paint, brushes and pens at let her at it.  I wasn’t sure if she had the attention span to do such a large painting and planned to leave it up over the month and let her paint as she wanted.  Instead she surprised me by her focus and finished the painting in two days.  She loved it.  I loved watching her joy.  I was surprised how much I learned from her.

Here is the progression of her family portrait and some lessons learned.

1. Dance.  Dance a lot in between brush strokes.

2. Don’t be afraid to paint your hands and use them as a paint brush.

3. Step back and look at the painting.  That upper corner might need a dot of red.

4. Tell a story as you create.

5. Admire you own work.  Say that you really, really love it. Be proud.

6. Enjoy color.

7. When you are done, be done.  Don’t worry or even think much about it.  Move on to a new activity/love and embrace it just as fully.