The thing I love about working at TMA is how amazing our projects are. We pride ourselves in the fact that all activities are open ended, and that everyone can scale the project up or down to their level and feel successful. Some of the projects are so stellar, that it makes me want to try them! When all the artists here find ourselves wishing we could do the projects, we know TMA is doing something right.
One of my favorite projects here is the circle paintings we do with the Monet classes. Instead of being super traditional and painting with paintbrushes, we paint with fruit! Yea, you heard me. FRUIT! (Should I say that louder? And they’re clementines to be exact). I’ve been told that other schools do similar projects, and I experience this project every year, but I don’t care. It never gets old, and I’m constantly amazed. I always look at the finished projects like I’ve never seen it or heard about it before in my life. My already large eyes widen like I’m staring into the magical world of Narnia.
Like I said, the best part of the project is that anyone can do it, and it looks great. I watch the little munchkins do the projects and they feel so proud that they’re creating this mini masterpiece with something so unique and different. The project can even translate into our adult years, and we can indulge in the fun too! Whether you’re reading this to discover a fun project for your child, or you secretly really want to do this yourself, you’ll be happy to know this project is low maintenance. All you need is fruit (or veggies), a knife to slice and dice (for adult use only please!), paper, paint, and paper plates.
We spread thin layers of paint onto paper plates (the paper plate helps to absorb some moisture, and hey, you can throw it away, so get excited, less cleanup for you!), and dip the cut fruit (flat side down of course) into the paint. Then we press firmly onto a piece of paper, in a new place every time. It’s really that simple. Older children or even adults can kick it up a notch. Try super bright neon colors, or keep the palette neutral. Maybe try creating new shapes and patterns using the shape of the prints. Practice writing skills, cursive, and even other languages by labeling the fruit with a thin marker when it’s dry. You could even color in the white spaces around and/or inside the fruit with sharpies when dry (homemade coloring book anyone?) And of course, it’s okay to snack on the fruit while you print. Just avoid the painted fruit, it’s gross.
All of the prints, no matter the artist, would look clean and inviting in a white frame in your kitchen or other dining area. I don’t know about you, but after writing this, I’m super psyched to try this at home. And I’m also hungry. As always, don’t be shy to share thoughts and ideas with me!
images courtesy of TMA and the wonderful world of Google