Sunday, November 2, 2008

bringing the outside in


Happy November! It's getting chilly, and the geese are heading south. There's a desire to soak in as much sunlight and outside time as the crisp weather will permit. Midday was just warm enough to go out in a couple of layers... if you stayed in the sun. We went searching for art materials. I'm really miss creating outside, so I tried to think of ways to bring nature indoors with us. We'd recently talked about using different sized paint brushes for different kinds of paint and/or projects. I wondered what it would be like to look for "paint bushes" in our backyard. This activity was so much about the collecting of tools and the conversations that went with it... "what do you think that stalk would do?".


We brought in dried flower heads from Bee Balm, stalks from Russian Sage, Blue Spruce pine cones, and three different kinds of evergreen branches. The tempera paints came out with a sheet of brown craft paper. We set up in front of a bank of windows in our sunroom, where we still feel partially outside.

Now came the experimenting...





Our favorite was the pine cone, which was young and soft... perfect for stamping dots. Our collaboration was a bit "muddied" by the end. There was a so much enthusiasm around trying three different colors with each tool... multiple times. This was all about the process and sharing our guesses on how certain "brushes" would work.

I loved teaching that art supplies don't have to come from a store. Promises were made to do it all over again tomorrow. It will make fine wrapping paper for a lucky grandmother... who enjoys any creations from her grandchildren.

This was a satisfying project for this time of year, but would be fun in spring and summer, too. Now we're wondering what other alternatives to paintbrushes we can find... Pin It

12 comments:

  1. Hi Maya, you have a great creative blog. I enjoy the creative way you teach your children.
    This wrap paper is so great, I do the same thing with my 3 years old daughter.
    (^v^)

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  2. Love your experiment of bringing the outdoors in as painting implements--so inspiring! I've used those little plastic scrubbers for a great painting texture, as well as dried sponges, plastic pizza cutters, the serrated edge of a roll of tape (careful!!), cut vegetables (green peppers and mushrooms made the best shapes!), etc. We made an Eric Carle style painted collage with all sorts of textures and used that for wrapping paper and a bulletin board at my son's school. And we used the cut vegetables to make note cards for my son's teacher. The cut green peppers made wonderful butterfly wing shapes!

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  3. ah, we used to do this with our art students :^)

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  4. ah, what a great idea! I can't wait to try it. We have some bushes close to us that my son calls "golden retriever tails." Can't wait to try it :)

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  5. reminds me of a few summers ago when we painted with feathers and blackberry juice. i love alternative paint supplies. well done maya.

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  6. This is such a lovely idea, going out to gather different things that could be used as brushes and mark makers. I think I will give this a try with my son. Thank you!

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  7. Thanks for you kind comments and great suggestions! I love the the thought of pepper butterfly wings. Molly, of course you did something as outrageous and wonderful as painting berry juice with feathers! Wow!

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  8. That is some wrapping paper I think I will have to take a que from you and make holiday wrapping paper that way :)

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  9. The final product is so Christmasy! It's great that you've got a sun room to enjoy the winter outdoors while indoors.

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  10. That was lovely and so inspiring! And the colors are so "holidayish<", lol...

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