Painting with Vegetables

Potato, Pepper, and Produce Printmaking

By Connie Goldin, LMFT

We are bringing produce and paint to our multi-age “Family Literacy Parties” this month. Vegetable print-making is a fun art project when you have some “ready to toss” veggies in your refrigerator. Bell peppers are fantastic “stamps” when dipped in paint. Different sizes of potatoes cut in half, both length-wise and height-wise, make excellent circles and ovals. Zucchini and summer squash can be cut into half-circles. Kids enjoy using corn on the cob to create interesting textures on paper, and asparagus and purple “green” beans make efficient paint brushes. We provide several types of two-ingredient play dough (white flour and water, wheat flour and vegetable oil, and corn starch and vegetable oil) so sneak tastings are safe. Our collection of plastic vegetables and fruits are also fun for the kids. I couldn’t find okra in the market yet, but okra makes pretty flower shapes when cut in half and dipped in paint. (Okra season starts any moment in San Diego and lasts through October.)

We were fortunate to have two wonderful teen volunteers from the local high school, who were a great help at our youngest party. What fun to have talented young volunteers! One of them read the lovely book, Ellie by Mike Wu, to the children. Story time was a big success and Ellie went home with an eight-year-old girl who loved the book.

Explore the beginning of fall produce and talk about the beautiful vegetables. Get out your washable, bright color paint and offer watercolor paper, and paper plates for palettes. Explore color, shapes, and veggies. Have have some good “corny” fun with the kids! Pair the painting experience with some wonderful books, and you’re good to go.

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