Friday, May 31, 2013

Artscapade: A chance for you to be the great mom I never was.

I am a little ashamed to say that I have woefully neglected my children's artistic inclinations, which I will tell you is worse since art is basically my life. It all started when my oldest daughter and I spent too many hours butting heads over my carefully planned crafts while living in exile in the countryside of Adams County, Ohio. I would spend the evening reading Family Fun with an intensity only a new mother has, making notes and lists to purchase craft supplies at Walmart. At 8 am (after breakfast, a romp around the house and a trip to Walmart which was graciously open 24 hours), I would have the age-appropriate craft set out on our kitchen table ready to inspire artistic brilliance on my Julia. I would patiently explain the craft, show how to do it and display the final product. Then she would look at me with her impish eyes shining brightly and do something completely different that had no relevance to my plan. I know I should have been thrilled at her artistic independence and relish her creative ability to come up with something new to do with my collection of supplies but I wasn't. After all my careful planning and good parenting enthusiasm, it was insulting. I can't help it, it pissed me off! We would argue over whether the paper was for the darling chain that would embellish her room or for her own amorphous shapes that would be taped to my wall. She would take the paint brush and "accidentally" paint the library craft book instead of her paper. I think the only craft she ever did according to my plan were paper snowflakes. It was an awful experience and I just got exhausted from the effort that in my mind had been wasted. In the end, I just gave her free reign of the craft cabinet and we went our separate crafting ways. I was so burned that I didn't ever go back to being that kind of mom. The worst part is that my second daughter would have loved some creative guidance but I didn't even teach her how to use a hole punch. I feel so terrible about that, but enough of my parenting failures. You, my friend still have a chance to be that amazing art mom.

I just discovered Artscapade, a Cincinnati based parent and child program that offers really exciting art classes and camps. Owner Tanith Smith has a fine arts and graphics background and develops projects that are not your average cut and paste construction paper stuff. She incorporates various mixed media and combines several art forms in one class. I love the Print Me Play Me idea with Underscore, and the parties look freaking amazing (that invitation is a work of art in and of itself!). And did you notice the price?? That is amazing too!

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