Pregnant and Painting

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Found an outlet for my need to work with my hands. Automotive proves less form-fitting and too toxic for a woman with a baby belly. Moving into a new place and seeing walls covered in flat, light colors, I in turn see a blank canvas. Perhaps you could attribute it to my many years of art in high school. I’ve had experience that shows in the way I look at the world. Scribbling on the walls is almost expected when we own the property; another coat of paint can cover-up the catastrophes.

I wanted something for our expecting bedside crib occupant at which he could gaze, and from at least a couple baby books, I read that newborns see best in high contrast, such as black and white patterns. Always looking to use what I have on hand instead of running out and buying more stuff, I dug out glossy grocery ads, packing tape, a pencil nub, and my leftover small bottles of acrylic paint. Setting my husband to work on a previous night, he and I went back to our elementary days and folded the ad sheets, plying scissors until we had something resembling cut-out snowflakes. I flattened them for a couple days with a book.

My first attempt at painting over the holed pattern proved a learning lesson. I stepped back for a day and considered other options that might better attain the desired effect. Finally, instead of a brush, I went for the paint roller. The packing tape framed the ads allowing for run-off. For the black-based patterns, I traced the edges, bordered with tape and then filled in with black which dried quickly. I then taped the cut-out snowflake over and rolled white across it. Yes, each pattern was a one-time use as they were weakened from a soaking with paint, but they were ads to begin with. 🙂

My desire to get the leaves on the wall stemmed from my appreciation of the variety of trees in this neighborhood. Walking the dog, I found myself picking up oak, maple, ash, perhaps apple and poplar leaves as they patterned the sidewalk during the fall season. These I also flattened with a book. Then trying to match their natural color, I reached for my paint bottles. Heavier duty than paper, I was able to apply the paint on the leaf and then use a dry roller to press the leaf onto the wall, leaving a stamped imprint of the tree’s creation. Not much out of baby books had inspired this project. I merely wanted to spark an interest in Nature’s variety. We have the tree identifying books available should he seek that light of knowledge. 🙂

Finally, to the far right is the hint of a wing. I want to briefly mention the bird in flight because of my decision to depict an object in motion based on the influence of a book. I learned how biologically different we are. Comparing two types, they discovered a disbursement variation of receptors inside the human eye. What I mean to say is boys and girls do see the world differently. It’s in our genetic make-up. The book, Why Gender Matters By Leonard Sax, goes into detail about why boys tend to go for things in motion while girls opt for static objects. It is one example he uses for:

parents to understand and work with hardwired differences in children, but he also encourages them to push beyond gender-based stereotypes.

An avalanche of research over the past twenty years has shown that sex differences are more significant and profound than anybody guessed. Sex differences are real, biologically programmed, and important to how children are raised, disciplined, and educated. … For example, girls are born with more sensitive hearing than boys, and those differences increase as kids grow up. So when a grown man speaks to a girl in what he thinks is a normal voice, she may hear it as yelling. Conversely, boys who appear to be inattentive in class may just be sitting too far away to hear the teacher—especially if the teacher is female.

Likewise, negative emotions are seated in an ancient structure of the brain called the amygdala. Girls develop an early connection between this area and the cerebral cortex, enabling them to talk about their feelings. In boys these links develop later. So if you ask a troubled adolescent boy to tell you what his feelings are, he often literally cannot say. (as quoted from Google Books)

He does a great job of affirming that we are different and equal. As Rhonda Robbins-Reeves writes, “One is not smarter than the other. Dr. Sax says that arguing that one sex is better or smarter than another is about as meaningful as debating a fork is better than a knife. “Better for what?” he asks.

It’s not what a boy or girl does differently that is the big issue. The big issue is how they do it.” (Click here for the full article.)

I can only do so much preparing before Baby’s arrival being new at this and not sure what to expect, but you can see how reading plays an important role in how I approach the task. Reading; it’s what I do.

Except some learning can only be done through hands-on efforts. Everyone should get dirty once and a while.

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