Friday, 28 August 2015

Fantastic Friday - Shadow Play

A weekly series entitled "Fantastic Friday" which celebrates the spontaneous, creative thinking of S and A. 

Shadow pictures. by S and A.

We continue with the theme of pictures being sometimes only temporary with the impromptu making of shadows.

This all started one day at the beach when S noticed his shadow.

He then used his hands to make a bird's wings.

On this occasion the boys used their whole bodies to make "gargoyles Mummy, look we're gargoyles".

What shadows can you make?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Colouring mixing bunnies

What better way to start our blog than with a book about mixing primary colours. Both S and A have adorable toy bunnies which live in their beds and are firm favourites at night time, so the book "White Rabbit's Colour Book" by Alan Baker  (ISBN 1-85697-399-9) was an instant hit.

We shared this book whilst on holiday in France and so had limited resources at our disposal for exploring the ideas.

We started by making some cloth white rabbits using a pillow case which was a couple of euro from the local store.

S helped tie the knots to form the rabbit's body, head and ears and A was handy with the scissors cutting off loose ends. If we had been at home we would have probably sewn the fabric together and stuffed the toys or even used the hot glue.

The book follows what happens as the inquisitive white rabbit explores three bowls of paint, red, blue and yellow.

We mixed up a cornflour paint using  2 cups of cornflour, 1 cup of cold water and 2 cups of boiling water. This makes a white base into which we added liquid food colouring. On this occasion our red looked rather pinky but it opened up some good discussions about how white can change a colour.

Then it was time for our rabbits to take a dip.

First sunshine yellow...

Then red...

To make an orange rabbit.

Rabbit then takes a wash in the shower to bring him back to white. Papa invented an effective shower using a plastic water bottle and we continued.

Hot red...

Cool blue...

To make purple.

After another shower we tried cold blue...

And warm yellow...

To make green.

But this time rabbit runs out of water and all that is left is the red paint.

Luckily green rabbit in red paint makes a beautiful brown rabbit - perfect!

There was lots of excitement and anticipation as rabbit explored each bowl, even though the boys had shared the book and knew what was coming up. For A, at two years,  it was a lot about colour identification but S (4 years) asked lots of questions and talked about the different shades, how it changed the more rabbit dived in and what would happen if further colours were mixed. Whilst having dinner outside later that day, Seb looked up at the washing on the line and said "I wonder what it would make if we mixed red and blue and green" looking at the colours of clothes hanging on the line - we'll just have to use our bunnies to find out!

Painting with Scissors

By S.

Whilst on holiday in France we spent a day at  Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis. The museum was very welcoming, particular with S and A, giving them pencils and an artist's pad to take with them around the museum. 

We started with the Matisse rooms although there were exhibitions on Herbin and Genevieve Claisse to name but two. 

S was keen to start drawing and stopped at a picture to draw some flowers in a vase. 

We have been sharing the books "The Little Matisse" by Catherine de Duve (ISBN 9-782960-040678), "Jazz" by Henri Matisse (ISBN 0-8076-1291-X) and "Snail Trail" by Jo Saxton (ISBN 978-1-84780-423-4) at home and it was very exciting to see many of pictures in the books hanging on the gallery walls.
Whilst walking through the gallery it was clear to see how Matisse's style changed over his life. We spent a long time in the cut outs section.
A was very quick at spotting the pictures from "Jazz" hanging on wall. He could identify shapes and patterns in them too.

S enjoyed the sculptures and wanted to draw them.

Later in the day we had a our own go at painting with scissors.

A has only been using scissors for the last couple of months so he needed high levels of concentration to make snips on the card and to cut pieces off.

S was quick to get cutting and began to arrange his shapes on the paper before using large amounts of glue to stick them into place. He wanted to expand his picture beyond the scope of the A5 paper, and why not?! In fact his words were "I wish we could do this forever!", as he chose further colours to cut and stick.

Some stunning results - we'll definatelty be painting with scissors again!

By A

By S

By Papa

By Mummy

The boys' pictures are now hanging, framed in their rooms.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


Welcome to my new blog which follows our family's trail exploring art, artisits and stories. S (4years) and A (2 years) love sharing, looking at and playing with stories and picture books and as a family we often visit museums and galleries at home and on holiday.

I am a true believer in promoting a process or set of skills, rather than an outcome and hopefully you will join us on our creative discovery.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Fantastic Friday - Sand Pictures

A weekly series entitled "Fantastic Friday" which celebrates the spontaneous, creative thinking of S and A. 

Whilst playing on the North Norfolk beach this summer, S started to make marks in the sand with his spade. What was so beautiful about this was that it came completely from himself, with no prompting. 

"Guess what I am drawing mummy?" 

It's here I took a moment to pause before answering. I am very aware, particularly with boys, that they can easily be put off or become negative if they think they have 'done it wrong'. What I try and instill in the boys and my children at school is that there are often multiple possibilities to drawings and stories and there is no right or wrong answer. A phrase I often use is "tell me about it" which is open and encourages a dialogue about the creation.

To this S replied "it's a tent with a flag." I could then talk about how the lines and shapes he used showed me that it was a flag whilst also dropping in some other possibilities such as "it also looks like a hat I have, which has a ribbon on the top." "Oh yes mummy, it could be, what else?" Our conversation continues as further shapes are drawn. 

A long snake's head.

A very tall tree, including roots. 

Train track between two holes we had dug. 

S's own version of hopscotch.

A was keen to join in too. He thought a cake I had drawn looked like a crab but it needed arms so he added them on "two arm mummy".

What would you draw in the sand?

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