Green handprint designs and painting to music

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We printed and painted with green today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. After doing some monoprinting, Maia resumed her favorite activity of painting her body. She painted her hands and made a series of handprints in different colors.



We haven’t painted to music in a while, but I think it’s time to try it again — perhaps something with drums! Maia was very deliberate with the placement of her prints, but also the way she slapped her hands down on the table in succession — very drum-like.

Have you tried painting to music?

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  1. tasha says

    My son has been a ferocious drummer all his life; he is seriously obsessed. As a toddler, before he was two, he got the biggest thrill from painting on canvas, the kind stretched over a wood frame, and banging, beating it as he painted and drummed. He called “Painting Boom!” Now five, things have not changed much. He still drums while painting, now with more elaborate beats. Painting is not about “art” and beauty to him. It’s always something scientific and musical to him. In our home, we always have music playing because this boy is crazy about it. Sometimes he has specific requests of what he wants to hear- Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson, and Phish are among his favorites to paint to. Really good beats inspire him to no end. As a painter myself, I have gone through phases of needing music while painting, and other times where I crave silence. Since becoming a mother, I really enjoy silence in my solitude because otherwise my life is always loud and noisy. My husband is a photographer, and he rarely does anything creative without a vast collection of badass music backing him up. What a cool, thought-provoking question you’ve tossed out here! Thank you!

  2. eric says

    My daughter made some handprints into an owl a few weeks back… her teachers helped her I am sure but it turned out really cool. She does a lot of handprint stuff.
    The coolest though was ghosts out of her little foot prints… on black paper… white ink. Ile keep that one forever!
    good website, having fun checking out your posts!

  3. says

    I remember in elementary school painting on a huge sheet of paper with paint in various colors and brushes to different kinds of music. The teacher told us to paint how the music made us feel. I remember really thinking it was cool. Also, makes me think of that book Yellow Umbrella. Didn’t you do a thing about books that have music with them? I’ll have to go back and look, I think it was right around the time my kids were obsessed with Peter and the Wolf and the Nutcracker…

  4. Emily O. says

    I’m a music therapist and when I worked in a children’s hospital, we sometimes did drawing to music. I haven’t tried it with my 2-year-old yet; he would probably love it! It’s neat to use a few songs with contrasting styles (e.g., one mellow and instrumental then another more boisterous with different instrumentation or vocals, or reggae then classical, etc.) and have them draw/paint how they feel or what they hear in the music. Afterward, talk about how their art reflected the differences in the songs if they’re able to verbalize that.
    I’ve also had them listen to a song and draw a main line for how they hear the melody, then branch off or embellish that original line based on other things they hear (like trumpets or drums coming in) or feel.
    I think we’ve found our art idea for this afternoon!