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...