Like most of the country, my family and I have been observing stay-at-home orders. While this has been challenging for everyone, my wife and I have seen that it has been particularly hard at times for our young, very outgoing daughters. Without school, music class, dance, time with extended family and other social activities, they don’t have their normal outlets for their youthful energy.
We often do art projects with our daughters Olivia and Elizabeth, so to get their minds off our current situation, we jumped into one of our favorite art activities – Spin Art. My oldest daughter Olivia (6) has enjoyed Spin Art for a couple years and has a large collection of work that she has created. This was the first time for my youngest, Elizabeth (almost 3).
If you are not familiar with Spin Art, it’s done by applying paint to a spinning canvas. In our case, we have a battery powered turn table that uses 4-inch square sheets of paper. The paint we use is washable paint found at any craft store.
Creating art has a soothing effect that helps put the world on pause. Focusing on creating, no matter what type of art, can be therapeutic. This is exactly what my girls needed this day (and so did their house-bound Dad!) Of the 10 or so paintings they made, I had them choose their two favorites. I would like to point out, I only helped facilitate; these are my daughter’s creations.
Photography is my favorite art form, so I wanted to use this time at home to take the opportunity to incorporate a photography lesson in our Spin Art project for my girls. I also wanted to teach them that they can use art they create to make more art. Thinking about your art as part of a larger process was an important lesson I learned in art school and one I wish I learned earlier.
So, when their Spin Art dried completely, I mounted their paintings to foam board and photographed them in a small product photography enclosure. To make the editing process easier, I used the SpyderCHECKR 24 for a color reference. The images only required modest edits to prepare them to print.
Olivia and Elizabeth wanted a copy of each Spin Art picture to hang in their rooms. Olivia loves seeing prints, so she helped me make two copies of each. Each print was mounted to an 8 inch by 8 inch MDF board. Olivia wanted to use epoxy resin to coat each print (Note here: we follow several Makers on YouTube who use resin in their projects and these are always Olivia’s favorites).
Epoxy resin is a coating that, in this type of application, evenly coats a surface to provide a clear protective layer when dry. Generally, this is a two-part mixture of a hardener and resin. We mixed the two together and poured.
Overall, this is a fun activity for kids, but definitely requires adult supervision and help. Keeping our children busy and entertained can be challenging while we are home together. Our nation is going through hard times, but we also have more opportunity to spend time together as a family and share our own skills – like photography – with our loved ones. Leading our children with fun projects like this can, in a way, redeem the hard times and create lasting memories.