We hosted two special paint events for 10 matches each for Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities last month! The premise was to have each “match” , (a big sister/brother and little sister/brother), create a painting on canvas together as a unit. The canvas was illustrated with images that represent who they are as individuals and how they relate to each other.
I used the model that I developed for our corporate team building events and adapted it for the Foundation’s event. With team building participants, I interview the individual and write down descriptive words, places and thoughts that form a visual of that person. Then I use my “Art on demand” skills that I learned in the fast pace world of editorial illustration for the Minnesota Daily to create a canvas with simple designs in “coloring book style” for them to paint. Each canvas becomes a representation of their individual personality. The symbolism is explained and shared with the group at the end of the event and everyone leaves with new insight into their peers.
What was extra fun about creating the canvas for the matches of Big Brother Big Sister was that I asked them to describe each other instead of themselves. It was very sweet to hear their heartfelt observervations of each other. “She loves animals, so we go to the humane society to hold the kittens. Her old cat died so she can only hold him in her heart.” or “He is a really good musician and teaches me new songs real slow so I can understand the story.” So one canvas at a time I drew their names in “bubble letters” to be filled in with color as well as kitty cats with angels wings, guitars, musical notes, foot balls, ice cream cones, puzzles, gardens, bikes and whatever else represented these very special bonds. Powerful art-making transpired, creating colorful memories filled with a sense of gratitude on both sides of the match.
It’s all about Peace & Love