Anyone who knows me could tell you I like playing with art supplies. I’m no artist, but I love bright colored pens and crayons, crinkly paper and glue, all the things that kindergarten children know exactly what to do with!
When we play, we let go of the outside world for awhile. Sometimes we forget ourselves completely and just have fun. Other times we tune in with ourselves and find expression for thoughts and feelings that are difficult to express in other ways, things we don’t have words for, even thoughts and feelings we weren’t aware of.
This kind of play supports the spirit. We exercise our basic need for healthy self-expression, and create things that please our aesthetic sense. Tune in with ourselves and find expression for thoughts and feelings that are difficult to express in other ways, things we don’t have words for, even thoughts and feelings we weren’t aware of.
I enjoy art exercises that offer self-reflection and creative self-expression. I’ll be posting them here from time to time, the first one next week. If you would like to join me, below are some basic supplies you can have on hand.
What you need
You can find these things at an art or craft store, some items are probably in your local drugstore or supermarket, some you will have around your house. The list is a starting place, add anything that strikes your fancy.
- Felt pens and/or oil pastels (for their vibrant colors)
- Pencils (colored or regular for fine lines)
- Tempera paints (as in children’s paint sets)
- Face paints
- Plain paper
- Coloured paper
- Poster board
- White glue
- If you like shiny, sparkly things get glitter (often in shake-able containers)
- Old magazines
Stop by the office of your local newspaper and ask about “end rolls”. These are the rolls of blank paper that get pulled off at the end of a print run. Most newspapers sell them, and what you’ll receive is a large roll of blank newspaper for just a dollar or two. An inexpensive way to get lots of paper that can be cut to whatever size you need.
When you’ve gathered your box of goodies, spend some time getting to know your supplies. Experiment with color, texture, sparkle, to get the feel of playing in this new way. Remember this is about self-expression, not being an artist, and don’t worry about how it is supposed to look. There is no right way, only your way. Relax and have fun with it.
Albert Einstein said, “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play.” If you’re not sure how to get started, then share your box of goodies with a child and follow along. Children have no trouble with play!