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Nature is an Artist

This morning’s session was accompanied by some true Spring weather. We had wind, rain and sunshine all within the first few minutes, illustrating the many ways in which nature is always changing! We started the session by sitting together, hoods up, reading and discussing the book ‘Nature is an Artist’ written by Jennifer Lavalle. It explores the ways in which nature creates art all around us, from the mesmerising landscapes to sculpted mountains and the fine patterns on a leaf or shell and how this can inspire us and prompt our imaginations when creating art ourselves.

Set up on the table were a variety of pre foraged natural items, all with different textures, shapes and patterns to explore, describe and compare. One mini nature artist picked up a twisted piece of driftwood and announced that it looked like a horse! Using a variety of art materials including natural beeswax crayons, charcoal and graphite sticks, we did a variety of rubbings to discover the patterns we could create, the silhouettes when we drew round them and some even attempted drawing the items themselves.

We soon discovered that some items proved tricky to use to make rubbings and so we introduced the concept of using a more malleable material, in this case playdough, to make impressions instead. This concept immediately sparked inspiration in some of the mini nature artists, exploring the patterns of shells, leaves, sticks, bark and pinecones, all creating very different patterns. We discovered that the driftwood created wiggly lines that resembled wiggly worms, shells left neat lines and pinecones created a pattern that resembled a flower with all its petals. Mini nature artists were soon exploring all corners of the garden to see what else they could find, excited to share any new discoveries that they made.

As the session evolved, mini nature artists ventured off in search of developing their own ideas which to my delight resembled our previous session, creating evolving sculptures with natural items to support their own imagination and play. One mini nature artist had placed a piece of the playdough on a stick, toasting a marshmallow, and of course for that we needed a campfire! Sticks were collected, campfires were built and even a rabbit joined us for some marshmallows. Other children continued exploring the concept of impressions and rubbings which soon too turned in to sculpture making, working together to figure out ways in which they could build and sculpt.

It always brings me such joy to see children exploring in their own unique ways, bringing ideas and thoughts together, always creating such unique journeys. I’m excited to see how the next sessions evolve and bring together all of the experiences we have along the way.

Back to observations.

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