Trust me. You're not alone.
Last night my sister and I lay in a double bed at my parents' house (in a way we hadn't done since sharing a bedroom in primary school), giggling, talking about all sorts from whether we prefer Ryan G to George C to who does more domestic chores in our respective relationships. Our kids (four between us) were asleep in the room next door, when suddenly the rain came down so hard outside, landing on the slanted window above our heads, it felt like the entire house might just float away. The animals marched on two by two, I thought, and then: "What on Noah's Ark earth are we going to do with the kids tomorrow?"
The next day came along with slightly brighter weather, as well as serious puddles and mud tracks in my parents garden. The kids had slept so badly between them we didn't know weather to laugh or cry about it. I think we did a bit of both. Rather than just letting the kids splash around in the puddles, we felt like bringing the mud into it too. If you can't beat the sodding weather, join it.
This is not sludge I thought, remembering a picture of a mud-painted classroom in India I'd seen recently, it's paint. Let's use the gunk. Grab a bucket kids. Grab a spade. Find the wettest, stickiest, dirtiest mud and plop it right in. Add water. Squelch it around with your hands. Done. Who needs Windsor and Newton paint? Their "painting" started gingerly enough. Some delicate hand prints, a few swishes of the palm, but it was clear soon enough that they had more of a Jackson Pollock approach to making their mark. Within minutes they were hurling the mud at the wall, excited, giddy, feral. It was abstract expressionism - of the backyard variety. The mud went splat, phisssht, pffop. It swooshed out of their hands and onto the makeshift canvas. They weren't painting a thing, they were feeling it.
What you need:
- A receptacle to mix and carry mud in
- A wall
Top tip: It's really worth incorporating the "clean up" mission into the event. Who doesn't love hurling buckets of water at a non-moving object? Bobby also turned into a chim chimney sweeper, singing chim chim cheree, as he slid the broom up and down.
Top quote: "Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." Jackson Pollock
For more inspiration, take a look at some mud and cave paintings, as well Jackson Pollock at work (see pics below).