There is something so exceptional about connecting with children through art. Combine this with nature; I am simply in heaven. In Summer 2019, we had such a magical day bringing together all three elements at the Hoo Gallery. The setting was perfect for it; within the backdrop of the Hoo Gallery garden and a beautiful Melbourne summer day, we began our workshop.
First, we foraged around the garden for leaves and twigs to make our mini baskets to carry our flowers, berries and other natural materials for our paints and brushes. It was a bit of a challenge for some little ones to find ways to turn leaves and sticks into a container, but they were committed and did not give up easily. I was amazed at how original and creative the children were in coming up with novel ways of carrying their foraged goods.
It turns out that foraging for art materials, then making paints and brushes, is fun but quite exhausting. Why, with all the smashing of leaves, crushing of stones, cutting branches does get the creative juice flowing, but can get tiring! It was then time for a quick break, for some healthy fruit snack for the children and delicious herbal tea for the adult helpers.
Finally, the splendid day was almost over. We were able to try out our natural paints and brushes; the idea was to have fun experimenting and enjoying the process than creating a finished masterpiece! There is a lot to be learnt from mistakes and mishaps. We tried out many paints that did not give us a good result, and some brushes did not make a half-decent mark. But we do not focus on our failures, but we certainly learn from them; we move on and try to do something different.
The children's mother was so grateful for the experience, eyes welling up with tears; she hugged me with sincere thanks. That was an unforgettable moment for me; my day in heaven was quite complete, and I floated into bed that night!
I made a YouTube video of the events of the day and some useful info on the benefits of working with nature and how you could reproduce this day at your own garden. I hope that you like it!
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