To open our art cupboard is to open the door to the natural world. Sticks, shells, seed pods and stones are our chosen canvases and we while away quiet moments under the shade of trees transforming them into artworks. Stretched out on a now paint splattered second hand sheet our hands reach for simple watercolour palettes*, watery hues, clay, wooden beads and twine. Outside in the fresh air the babies feel uninhibited by the confines of the home and its sometimes aversion to painty mess. Splashes of colour teint the grass and ochre tinged bodies are easily and playfully hosed down. There isn't a lot of fanfare nor great planning and very few dollars have been spent. Simple and raw materials, gentle and timeless creations.
We collected some smooth river stones whilst exploring and using a simple news agency purchased watercolour palette we created some story stones. Armed with "not too wet" brushes and loads of colour for each swipe we painted simple story telling props of rainbows, suns and moons, trees and mountains and simple animals like birds, snakes and worms. Some rocks were painted all over in blue and green to represent the sea and grass too. When they were dry I sprayed them with a clear matt varnish to seal the magic in.
* We will however replace our cheap watercolour palette with a better one when it's used up. I believe that entrusting our babies with beautiful quality art materials yields such satisfying results for them. A modest investment provides long lasting, highly pigmented paints which make colours shine. Good quality brushes also grasp paint well and spread colour evenly, help to create fine lines and help with definition. Creativy flows when tools empower rather than hinder. When time (and often time and time again) is spent showing little people specifically how to take care of special items they always seem to exceed our expectations.