The older I get in age, the more I start to see things from a different perspective. I see things form the perspective of an artist, a buyer, a mother, and yes a teacher. But some things you don’t learn from books, or teachers, or your spouse or friends. Some of he best things learned are from your kids and in this case, my nephew(my other kid) Adrian.
My sister came to me the other day to tell me that my nephew Adrian wanted to paint furniture like me. So of course, I jumped at the chance to teach him. We set a date and I picked him up. He had his own plans with him and being the most loving,kind, wonderful, thoughtful (etc.) aunt that I am, I gave him one of my beloved tables that he could have a go at.
One of the things I love about Adrian is he is one of the most thoughtful kids I know. He’s also a little thinker. He has a way about him that you know he’s in this deep thought process. So when he approached me about this table, he had plans drawn out and colors picked out already. I appreciated that.
After we looked over his ideas, we got to work sanding and I had him wipe down the table. I taught him about getting all the dust off of the table before we started painting because of course, he expected that we would start on the painting as soon as we got to the house. I don’t think he realized, I had other plans.
While we waited for the table to fully dry, he helped me with Olivia’s dresser. I had him tape off the drawers before we began to paint it. I have to say that I loved the way he was so into it. He had this stern look on his face and I could see the tips of his fingers turning white making sure to get the tape down as best as he could (precious).
He actually posed for this one but the rest of these are ones I captured of him as he worked hard. I love his little pudgy hands. I’m glad that I captured this moment in his life!
Sorry for the tons of photos but I’m a proud aunt…what can I say!
Once the table was dried, we talked about color choices. I have to say he was pretty stubborn about the colors but I HOPE I made him understand that it’s ok if you have something in your mind before you start to paint, but it doesn’t always end up exactly as you pictured in the end. We went through several revisions in the process.
He decided his table was going to be black with lighter blue words spelling the word “ART”. After drawing his idea on paper first, he ended up liking the blue background with black letters better. In fact, his check mark above the blue table shows his approval.
I don’t know if you can see the drawing above his mock up here, but he had drawn a picture with 3D letters and it says “option 3”. Did I mention he’s a ‘thinker’. I so LOVE that!!
He picked a blue he liked from my stash and got to painting.
We decided it may be more fun to write the word “art” in lower case letter. Ashley actually suggested it and he like the idea. So we went with it. I traced the letters on the table and he began to paint the letters on.
And here’s the final product:
Now for some lessons I learned after teaching Adrian.
- You need a lot of patience!! That’s a given but it’s true nonetheless
- Don’t forget the fundamentals of painting for example, make sure you tell kids how to dip the paint brush in the paint and dab it off on the inside of the rim rather than the outside. Needless to say we lost a lot of paint that way.
- Teaching patience is difficult. Adrian had the “get ‘er done now” attitude so I had to reign him in on taking his time a couple of times.
- Games will always be more fun and exciting than painting furniture outside. I lost him to the WII three times during our furniture painting session.
- Just because you have a child clean a paint brush for you a few times doesn’t mean he’ll always remember that concept. I lost two small paintbrushes that day
- A good tip I learned was when I showed him how to use the small paintbrush. It was difficult for him to stay in the lines of the letters so I told him to pretend he was coloring with a crayon(or holding a pencil) It helped…some.
- No matter how may tables I’ve painted, my voice was only a teeny tiny part in the color choices. His mind was set and there was no changing it. That tells me he’ll be a great artist one day!
- To all the teachers of children everywhere, I hold you in a higher regard now. Teaching my nephew wasn’t too difficult, but it made me really think about all the fundamentals I often don’t pay attention to. Next time I’ll have a day full of working on “step 1” before integrating step 2, 3, and 4.
Thanks for sticking around during this long post! I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do.
Adrian’s table is for sale at Lula B’s in Deep Ellum (Downtown, Dallas)!