"A CREATIVE mess is better than tidy idleness."
I have never been known to be a clean artist. When it comes to making art, my paint palette colors always seem to blend into each other, brushstroke marks somehow make their way onto my apron, and always--I mean ALWAYS-- if something messy is involved in making art, without fail, I can expect to find a paint spot somewhere on my clothes, shoe, or hair by the end of the day!
For me, there is a distinct difference between a sloppy mess and a creative mess. I tell our artists that I LOVE to get messy (after all, I wear an apron every day!) but we must do it in a soaring way. It is important that in the midst of our creative "messiness" that we are still following safety precautions, procedures, and being respectful of materials, our clothes, and others as we work. We ask ourselves, is the messiness the result of an accident? Playing around? Not following directions? Being so involved in our creative ideas that we don't realize our messes?
If we are getting creatively "messy" because we are so engaged in our projects and are learning each messy time to express ourselves, then by all means, let your hands do the talking!
Disclaimer: We use washable paints! (I don't know if that is more for the kids' sakes or my own!) :)