Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gifts Made by Hand Warm the Heart

In the holiday hustle, it's easy to get lost in the commercial side of Christams. Even while thinking of others, finding "the perfect gift" for someone is often a quest that proves all too stressful.

When my friend Maggie approached me with an idea for a painting involving her kids to give  as gifts, I knew she was onto something. We decided to get all the kiddos together for an impromptu art playdate to make gifts for the special people in our lives. The idea was to create something handmade by the children, but with a little more substantiality and polish. A keepsake piece.

We decided to go with a pop-art , Warhol-inspired theme: bright colors, and the simple imagery of the child's handprint. 

We took a square canvas and divided it into 4 squares, which I painted and let dry before the kiddos entered the studio to help curtail the madness of having 5 children ages 5 and under dipping their hands in unwashable paint and running amok. 

Maggie and Dylan...he was a pro from the start!
Maggie's Linley was so proud of her her handprints

I won't say that there was no madness, but once we got a system down, it was more like controlled chaos, and quite enjoyable to see each of the children's different reactions as they took in the sensations of choosing their colors, painting their hands and applying their handprint to the canvas. Maggie has two kids, and each of hers made two handprints on a canvas. My three kids each made one handprint and I had my 5 y/o daughter paint a heart on the spare square.

My Annie going to town.
My Mack, an adorable curious mess,
let's just say there's one in every crowd.

After we wrapped up, the finished pieces were so lovely. And really not too far off from the Warhols that they were inspired by. I am so glad mine made one for their Daddy so I get to enjoy it in our house, too. :)

If anyone wants their kids to come play with me more in the art studio this year, I teach at Art Stop in Preston Center on Mondays from 3:45 - 4:45, ages 5-7.  the Winter Session begins January 9. Join us!


  1. When Siena turns 5 Gina (this June) I'm Sooo all over it!! Those are Sooo cool!!

  2. Thanks they were so fun to make and a hit on christmas. Sally, I already have a vision for these to translate into Valentine's presents, just choosing some different colors. I want you to bring the munchkins over to make some! They are ready!

  3. Siena would love it!!!! Kaid would eat the paint so we will have to keep him far away from it! ;-)


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