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  • Writer's pictureTairaR

Artsy Science

At forest school, we celebrated Mother's Day with collages that were gifts for our wild and beautiful mamas.

It was a layered process. What I call artsy science. If you are an artist, you might enjoy reading our steps below. If that's too detailed for you, skip to the photos below. ;)

Here are our main steps.

  1. Introduction to the concept of collage.

  2. Seeing with the eyes of an artist, a forest school practice. Group and individual observations and discussion about the plants in one particular area (about 4’ x 4’)—near our snack table. Children’s observed Miner’s lettuce, forget-me-nots, ferns, grasses.

  3. Closer observations with magnifying glasses and through touch. Miner’s lettuce also through taste.

  4. Creating those plants as an art experience with paper and paint; coupled with even closer observations. Colors, size, shapes, texture, structure of plant, etc. Miner’s lettuce—prints using potatoes. Forget-me-nots—prints usinga small bundle of 5 tiny sticks to represent 5 petals. Sword fern—actual fern traced onto paper; leaflets cut into paper. Grasses—mark making with individual bundles of grasses, ferns and lichen as paint brushes to create texture. Later cut into long grass shapes. (Think Eric Carle.) Finally, paper plants and flowers were glued in layers onto painted canvas board. The final collages were stunning.

Yes, I know it's best to do process art with young children and to not focus on results. But let's get real here. It's super nice for parents to receive framable art from time to time, especially when it's a holiday gift. And . . . our steps included lots of individual artistic choice and expression.

Below is a child adding the final touches to her collage--using sticks are paint brushes. And one of the completed collages.

I consider this project a gift to our forest. The observations, discussions and art making were intimate and appreciative.


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