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Watercolours en plein air

We brought our watercolours with us today, to the ballet studio and then to the park afterwards. There’s been a lot of painting and drawing and glitter glue and highlighter colouring going on at home, but today was the first day we actually brought our art supplies out of the house to make art while we were out and about.

watercolours en plein air

While Claire was busy in her ballet class Bea and I painted with watercolours together. This is new for us. I used to set  up paints or markers or a craft for the girls and let them make their own art, but I would very rarely sit and make art with them. I’d use those precious minutes while they were engaged in their painting to get the dishes in the dishwasher or something.

But there is something very lovely about sitting with someone and painting together. We are together in the same physical space yet alone in our own projects and process. We are inspired by each other’s work, by the work we did together a few days ago, by our setting and mood.

preschooler painting with watercolours at the park

I used to cringe at making art with my kids. I mean, why bother using up the art supplies to make some terrible, amateurish thing? Especially when I could be doing something like loading the dishwasher?

watercolour paintings of trees

But I’ve decided that making terrible art is OK. I made an amateurish watercolour painting of a tree and that’s OK because I am an amateur watercolour artist. It’s OK because I’m remembering what it’s like to discover how things work by trying something new. I’m creating a space in which it’s safe to try and fail and try again, to learn by doing, to experiment with the materials which are at hand.

I’m learning, my kids are learning, and we’re all in this together.

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Lori October 9, 2012, 12:55 pm

    “I’m creating a space in which it’s safe to try and fail and try again, to learn by doing, to experiment with the materials which are at hand.” — beautiful :)

    what a great environment to be a kid in — one where your parents are cheerful about exploring and playing and there’s no pressure to make something that looks a particular way, or to please someone else. just play and learn.
    Lori´s last blog post ..Why skills don’t trump passion

    • michelle October 13, 2012, 4:04 pm

      thanks Lori! I must admit, it’s been pretty great to take the pressure off myself too :) I can do the dishes later, but right now I’m going to sculpt tiny people out of clay/paint/draw/whatever.

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