Week days are usually very busy at Neema House. The children have school then games then study hall and homework. All of this is followed by baths for every child and dinner and then tutoring. Because of all of this we usually do not find time to do longer art projects until the weekends.
On Saturday we were feeling very ambitious and decided to attempt splatter painting with the thirteen oldest children. For those who don’t know, splatter painting is simply the art of flinging paint onto paper. We decided to paint with two children at a time so that each child could have either Callie’s or my full attention. The kids were naturals at the splatter painting. Callie compared them to Jackson Pollock. They loved hitting the paint brushes and watching the colors form splotches and lines across the paper. The younger kids were surprisingly better at it than the older ones because of their unreserved style. By the end of the project each child’s face and hands were almost as colorful as their papers.
As the paintings dried, the children came back to the classroom. We cut each child’s painting into two, three, or four pieces. We then had them choose words (one word for every piece of their painting) from a list that Anne and Stephen had created for us earlier that day. The list was made up of words like imani, umoja,rafiki (faith, unity, friend) and other words that would be meaningful to the kids. They wrote a word on every piece of their painting and then used a note card to write why they chose that word. They all turned out really well!
Yesterday we went to the Mbithi’s church accompanied by ten of the younger children. When we got home we went on a walk with some of the kids. We walked through some corn fields and to their old teacher’s house and we also visited their friends from school. When we got back to the house we started our first group project. We had almost every child (including baby Lydia and five month old Michael) come into our room. We painted one of their hands in the color of their choice. The expressions on the kids’ faces when we started painting were hilarious. I’m pretty sure some of the younger ones thought that we were permanently painting their hands because they started crying until we showed them that it could be wiped off. We placed all of the kids’ hands on the paper and made a peace sign. It looks great, but none of the kids know what it means so they don’t think it’s as cool as we do. To finish it off Stephen painted the word “amani” (peace) on the side.
Overall it was a very successful weekend. The kids are getting so much better at free-draw and I think they are really enjoying the art projects. I’m posting pictures of some of their drawings and paintings. Enjoy!
Miss and love everyone!