‘Mummy. Wow! Look at that tree!’ said the little bear, ‘It’s so beautiful.’
Ahh autumn. It is so very beautiful. This is our third autumn in Canberra, a far far cry from the wet northern tropics where we lived before here. I sometimes wonder how long I will be captivated by autumn, how many more years I’ll find myself catching my breath over a blazing yellow tree….and if this post makes my northern tropics friends insanely jealous, I’m sorry….sort of
Towards the end of autumn there is a sense of gradually moving inside, as the weather turns and winter sets in, but for now the glorious trees on every corner, in every front yard, beckon us outside.
We took a walk today; Jack (4 yrs) and me with our cameras and Sarah (2 yrs) with a key ring of autumn colour swatches. We spotted red and yellow and orange. Jack happily snapped each new tree and Sarah delighted in finding a matching colour. We collected some leaves and acorns and after a long walk and many many photos later, with tired legs, we headed home.
Jack enjoys drawing and so I know a drawing provocation will always invite him in. I like to keep it simple, just white paper and oil pastels in autumn colours in this case. That way the materials can speak for themselves.
We talked about the leaves; what he noticed, why he thought they were changing colour. I think he remembered a lot from last autumn. We talked about the shape of the leaves, the veins, the texture and the colour.
Last week I put watercolours and paper out on the art table everyday. Since the Week of Playdough I’ve been putting out one main art material for a week for Jack and Sarah to create with whenever they feel inspired. Their creativity has soared. I think this might have been why Jack decided to use the watercolours as well today.
I like when they mix media, it always brings such surprising results. In this case Jack commented on the watercolours ‘going bubbly’ on the oil pastels.
The provocation is still on the art table for tomorrow. I have put some of Jack’s photos in the digital photo frame and added an Artline marker to the table. Since Jack added them, I’ve left the watercolours too with a jar of clean water.
He had a lot of questions about the veins on the leaves; what they were, why they were there, so I’m thinking we might investigate that further using the fine Artline marker tomorrow.
Oh and if you are wondering about the ‘bear’ and the ‘crocodile’, here they are on their walk today. Little cuties.
*and a happy surprise, Sarah, who is usually rather cranky come dinner time, invited in by the materials on the art table, sat and painted for nearly half an hour while I prepared dinner. Big smile from Mama.
* if you are looking for a Reggio-inspired art book, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. The Language of Art: Reggio-Inspired Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings is unlike any children’s art book I have read before. It gives you an entirely new perspective on children and art. I am constantly inspired by this book.