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  • Diana Stelin

Why I hate Paint Nite gimmicks


Just for the sake of an experiment I attended an online 'Paint Nite' concept for my five year old daughter today. About 10 kids, a camera set on a teacher's IPad where a sloppy 'kid-like' version of an Impressionist painting is walked through in a paint by numbers approach.


"Please put a line through the middle. Then add a point here, bring it to this point here. Take this blue and put it as a strip on top. Here's how you put in a boat, this is what reflection on the water should look like."


"No, you can't make the sun with sun rays. And we're only making one cliff. Take that extra cliff away. Your boat has too many sails."


Nauseating, I tell you. Where is the kids' innate desire to play, to experiment, to use their imaginations? Where's their learning about the world and how it's made? This approach shuts it down for good.


I get it. For those of us who had lost touch with our creativity (perhaps partially because of this approach), this is a decent way to start, to at least try something, especially with a glass of wine in hand. But you're so much more than that. You are unique, your inner child wants to come out and play. That's what art is about. It's about openness and connection to your true self, not to a gimmicky version of Van Gogh's Sunflowers.


Please let your kids learn and explore, don't shut them down.

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