Saturday, March 17, 2012

Walking on Rainbows, or, I Let My Kid Paint My Sidewalk

Sydney had a Big Idea.

If you don't know by now that 1) I don't give a flip about our property value, and 2) I let my kids do really weird things in the name of art, then you don't read my blog, but you clearly do read my blog, so it therefore will not surprise you that Sydney wanted to paint our sidewalk like a giant rainbow.

I thought it was a brilliant idea, frankly, and together we mixed up a rainbow's worth of tempera (plus pink, because that's just how the kid rolls).

It was a beautiful, mild, March afternoon, so Sydney started painting. She painted--

--and painted--

--and painted!!!

We live about a half-block from a wonderful park, and thus always have lots of friendly neighbors passing by. I hope they've gotten somewhat accustomed, over the years, to seeing naked children painting each other in the yard, or painting vehicles in the driveway, or plucking dandelion leaves and popping them into their mouths, or climbing six feet into the fork of our silver maple and then LEAPING to the ground, etc., but I'm afraid that our property is never one that just simply blends into the neighborhood.

As Syd worked all afternoon, and I went back and forth from keeping her company in the yard to making dinner to getting some writing done to tidying up in the living room (again), I could see the foot traffic notice Syd's work. Most people just took a long look as they passed, but some people stopped to watch Sydney paint for a while, one couple took some photos, and a few folks paused to chat for a bit--at one point, as I was writing on my laptop near an open window, I heard someone say something to Sydney that I didn't catch, but then she responded, "Oh, I'm allowed to talk to you; I just can't come up to you in case you snatch me."

That at least roughly approximates what I actually told her about interacting with adults outside of my presence, so I'll take it for now!

By the end of the afternoon, just in time for Daddy to come home and be surprised, and with ample time left to tidy away the paint cups before we walked over to Chocolate Moose after dinner for a Thin Mint blizz, the sidewalk was indeed painted like a giant rainbow:

It's bright and vivid and super-saturated, and won't rub off on your shoes as you dance on it:

The paint is student-grade powdered tempera, mixed a little thicker than the directions call for in order to get those vivid colors, and so of course it will wash off eventually. A rain shower or two, a week or so of steady wear, and then it will be a whole other pleasant game to spray the rest of it off with the garden hose while watching the colors run together and dissipate into the grass.

But of course, that's later, when the novelty of the artist's temporary installation has worn off. For now, Sydney is flush with pride at her major accomplishment, happy in the many sincere compliments that come her way from us and from total strangers on the street. She also likes her rainbow sidewalk pretty well herself, as you can see:

That kid is a masterpiece, if I do say so myself.

We used:


Margie said...

We saw it on the way home from the park and LOVED it! Well done, Sydney! A welcoming house if ever I saw one.

Tina said...

That is so awesome! We have done some pretty heavy chalk art on our sidewalk and driveway, but never painted it. I think that might be something to consider in the near future :)

Stephanie said...

Super fun! I've never bought powdered temperas, but I'll consider it, now!
It's amazing that she just kept going and kept going! That was a big job!!
And it's beautiful!

Unknown said...

I love that you let Sydney paint the sidewalk! It turned out so beautiful!!

sarah in the woods said...

Beautiful! I love it. I want my driveway painted in rainbow.

julie said...

We've even had the odd acrylic paint spill on that sidewalk and even that does wear off...eventually. Heck, even when I let the girls paint the entire minivan with tempera, even THAT came completely off. Student-grade paint is a miracle!

Stacie.Make.Do said...

This post made me smile widely.
Tomorrow I am buying washable tempera paint for my kids to use on the next warm day ;)

Peter said...

Very Nice your tips.........
we are appreciate your tips. We wait for next post.
Thanks for sharing.
Martial Arts Sydney

Once a small seed said...

You are an awesome Mom! I love it!

verdemama said...

So fun and lovely. I would definitely let my girls have a go at painting the sidewalk. It's always lovely to see other folks who feel the same way :)