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En Plein Air

IMG_0120En Plein Air is the fancy-frenchy way of saying “in the open air”.  The weather is starting to warm up and painting/drawing/making in the outdoors is one of my favorite things to do with the kids when the long dreary wet winter and spring leave way for the sun and warmth.

We don’t alway need an easel with us when we are outside, but it is fun if you have one.  Clipboards can easily offer a nice work space outdoors too.  Other things we have taken outside include:

WATERCOLORS

OIL PASTELS

CHALK (SIDEWALK AND DRAWING CHALK)

SHARPIES AND PENCILS

Intermission: Thailand

So I’m obviously a blogging rookie.  My complete absence was due to an amazing trip to Thailand with my husband.  Yes, just my husband.  It was like honeymoon 2.0.   I figure I ought to use best practices and explain the large gap in posting.

While there, I fulfilled one of my life long bucket list items: riding an elephant.  I think it came from the million times watching Annie as a kid, but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to ride an elephant.  In Thailand only 5% of the elephants are still wild.  They were domesticated as working animals to aid in logging.  However, in the last several years logging has been outlawed in an effort to preserve their jungle.  The elephants have been reinstated as tourist attractions.   I’m not clear on whether the elephants simply can’t be placed back in the wild or they just aren’t.  Unfortunately, many of the elephant ranches do not take great care of their animals.  We were very fortunate to have found an great touring outfit that give their elephants good care.  We even were able to help bathe the elephants in the morning in the river with the Mahout (elephant trainer) and then ride bare back all the way back to the ranch.  An incredible experience!!!

Anyway,  it’s now back to normal around here and the beginning of summer.  I am looking forward to getting back to buzzing and humming with my girls.  We have a whole summer of fun creative goodness coming up.

Color Mix Exploration

We did a little impromptu color mix paint work  the other day that ended up in some independent mixing exploration.  This was a clear reminder to me that it’s the process, not the product that counts.

We started out with two ramekins of liquid watercolor paint: one yellow, one blue.  I had cut various sizes of circles our of watercolor paper and they painting them yellow and then mixed in the blue to make – to TalTal’s surprise – GREEN!

They had fun magically turning their circles green.  Then TT took it further and designed some circles on a full sheet of paper and then mixed colors of her own choice to fill in the circles.

Some circles turned a brown mess and some turned beautiful shades of purple.  This was a fun project that led to self exploration.  You could continue and do more circles that portrayed the whole color wheel and then make a poster or a color wheel mobile.   

A Beginning

Here’s a beginning.  I think I’ll make it short just to get started.  I’ve used parent/creative blogs to inspire my own projects and activities for my own kids.  As funding for the arts in school continues to diminish, I also find these types of resources essential for parents to bring art into their children’s lives.  I do happen to have a background in Art History and Elementary Education, but mostly I want to create a space where I can document, explore and discuss the creative adventures of my family and be a part of a creative parenting community.