Every Monday after school we drive over to our local farm (one of many in this area!) and pick up our CSA share. Our farm happens to be situated high on a beautiful hill and has a great view (see here and here and here for more beautiful farm pictures). Two weeks ago Eve started talking about how she would love to bring paints and paint a beautiful picture. Lex loved the painting idea as well. Boring mommy suggested we take a few pictures with the camera and use them to paint at home. No dice, boring mommy! Last week they were both disappointed that I didn’t bring the paints and I reminded them that if they want to paint they need to bring the paints. This morning Eve woke up and almost immediately reminded me that it’s Monday and we need to pack the paints for our trip to the CSA. With my help she packed up a bag and put it in the car before school. I’m always running around on Mondays so if it didn’t get in the car early it probably wouldn’t get in at all!
When we got to the farm there were a few logistics to figure out, such as the fact that we don’t have portable easels (hardcover books from the car made acceptable stand-ins) and the ground was damp (turns out little kids don’t care about that!). So we climbed as high was we could, right by the wonderful swings, and settled in with the watercolors.
I went back down to the barn, collected my CSA goodies, picked some herbs and flowers, loaded the car, then went back up to wait with them.
After a few minute I was bored (I have the patience of a gnat!) but they were so calm and peaceful. Diligently working on their pictures. Discussing what they saw and how to draw it. Lex made outlines and then filled in. Eve painted with a broad brush (literally!) and was a bit abstract. Lex threw around words like “outlining” and “layering” that he learned in art class and tried to comment on the differences in their painting techniques. “Mine is more detailed and yours has more colors,” he said. She took every comment as a critique (she can be touchy like that sometimes) so I jumped in and explained that everyone has a different style and no style is better or worse than any other. We talked about different artists and styles. My knowledge in that area is just a barely-there wisp, but I was able to bring up books we have with different styles of illustrations and I think the point was adequately made. I may find a few art books in the library to further our discussions. I considered painting with them, but we didn’t have an extra book handy and I didn’t want to sit on the wet ground.
I waited patiently and after an hour and a half we packed up. Lex had finished one and Eve had done one and nearly completed her second. I rushed her a bit at the end (I felt guilty but really we had been there so long already and I was cold and bored!). They took them into the barn and proudly showed Chuck, the farmer/owner. He and everyone else in the barn oohed and aahed appropriately. :)
Then home we went, wet works of art drying in the back of the car. Happy family.