Robert (gurdonark) wrote,


I suspect I wrote a journal entry about my love for fingerpaints in the past. The topic sounds a great deal like the sort of topic upon which I wax grandliloquently. I received a gift of fingerpaints well into my adulthood. I found myself surprised by the way in which painting with fingerpaints proved a liberation. I found that creating with fingerpaints removed a great deal of the pressure from the process. One self-expresses, with the tools at hand. The tools at hand drip from one's fingers. Nobody worries.

My memories of childhood fingerpainting provide little comfort. I often committed the minor but irretrievable error of "one blend too many". In "one blend too many", one discovers the joys of how blended colors make new colors. Then one discovers the agony
when one too many blends renders everything a kind of brown. Playdough aficionados know just what I mean. The person who realized the use of fire as a cooking aid similarly felt dismay when it burned down the village when unchecked. All good things deserve moderation.

I plan to acquire a new set of fingerpaints, from some store for brainy children which sells its wares under a sufferably cute trade name. Then I can seek to do things as much fun as the cylindrical green painting which could define itself "either way", and thus was named "cactus/dolphin". In fingerpaints, one does not worry, by the way, whether one has drawn a cactus or a dolphin. It's all good in a "dinosaur/telescope" childhood wonder way.

Fingerpainting differs from painting in other ways. The difference amounts to a liberation from craft. I respect craft, but I often think that people need to liberated from it--in the same way I respect holiday casseroles, but rarely wish to eat them.
In fingerpaints, one serves oneself as an audience of one. It's a bit like writing a weblog.

All those musicians and scientists keep telling us that we are all made of stars. But I wonder if fingerpaints might metaphor just as well.
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