Painting With Nature

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Guest post by Kristin Autry, preschool teacher turned stay at home mom who blogs at Sense of Wonder.
When looking for inspiration for your next art project, I suggest you look no further than your own garden. The beautiful colors, textures, and shapes make the garden an excellent source of material to explore through art.

My mother-in-law recently gave us several pomegranates that had fallen off of her tree in her front garden. When we took them home to have a closer look at them, we became intrigued with the shape and feel of them. The star shaped stem seemed perfect for stamping, and as we cut them open the pips inside made for delightful textures as well.

We got to thinking…

What else from our garden might be fun to paint with?

We began looking for plants and herbs with exciting shapes, and texture. We found rosemary, flat leafed parsley, andthe silver leaves off of a dusty miller. Once we had our materials gathered we dipped each into the paint and let it imprint itself on the paper, noticing the lacy or bristly pattern each left behind.

Taking art outdoors allows children to really focus on the wonders of nature. They get intimately involved in each leaf or bit of fruit. They see how variations in texture and shape will affect the outcome of the product.

Having the art area set up out doors will also help with this intimacy, by surrounding their creative space with inspiration from nature and endless possibilities for new materials.

The next time you are looking for a little creative inspiration, try taking it outside. You never know what you might find!

Bio: Kristin Autry is a preschool teacher turned stay at home mom who blogs at Sense of Wonder. I love art, science, storytelling, children’s songs, pie, strange holidays, big messes, Douglas Adams, mismatched socks, baby feet, ice cream, thrift stores, state parks, cold beer, live music, church picnics, old friends, mud pies, Rachel Carson,  family reunions, hot coffee, Harry Potter, watermelon, hand prints on walls, sweet kisses from sweet babies, and sleeping, but not necessarily in that order.

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  1. Another way of using nature in painting is to use the pigments of leaves and flowers as the paints themselves. We did it, amd had a fun time.

  2. My 12 year old loves art and her teacher had her paint with very long stalks of grass; the dried kind that are 2 feet long. She made a lovely feathery painting with them. So wonderful and such a fun idea!

  3. I love painting and your painting is really great. Painting with nature is an excellent theme. I love your paints. It is simple yet awesome.