“Can’t we just paint?” The appeal came from one of my fifth grade students. It was a simple request but fraught with complications because I worked in a school that was adopting a more traditional curricular approach. Besides, I was not the art instructor but a general classroom teacher. Many of the faculty and administration thought offering students creative agency was a waste of time. They preferred direct instruction requiring teachers to deliver material0.1-5.23.14- BPC1 5th mtg general6 Paint Pallette Technique in a linear and methodical fashion. My educational philosophy centered on an organic approach where students became empowered and self-reliant but I had to be careful that my practices wouldn’t appear out of sync with the other classrooms. To mitigate this possibility I encouraged my students to include academic themes or elements in their creative endeavors. But as an artist and an educational researcher I knew better. I had read about the personal and pedagogical benefits inherent in the act of painting (Andrews, 2005; De Petrillo & Winner, 2005; Fiske, 1999). In fact art historian and art critic James Elkins described paint as, “liquid thought” (2000, p.5) and observed “There is no meaning that cannot seem to flow from the paint itself” (p.193). In my own artistic practice painting required developing strategies, finding solutions and solving visual conundrums. Painting was a joyful, reflective, and heuristically educative pursuit.