17 June 2010

en plein air


an out-of-doors family art studio is in the works. it's quite exciting, but there is still much that needs to be done. to keep thehobbit from bemoaning over & over how. long. this. is. taking! i've set up a mini studio for his current obsession: painting.

if you'd like to join the warm weather fun (apologies to my upside down readers), feel free to be a copy-kat. i used a wooden fruit crate turned on its side, because i had a few lying around. any small table will do, but if you look at the photo above, you'll see that the other side of the crate keeps supplies off the ground.

we have a heavy marine layer at night, so the supplies will be stored in a plastic bin when not in use. the bin should fit nicely on that bottom 'shelf'.

the best part of this whole project is the paper. little paper! i found a bag of card stock remnants at a discount store; various colors, some with texture, & all thick enough to handle painting with watercolor. little remnants! i think the largest is 6 inches across. kids love little anyway, but facing a little blank canvas is less daunting than a big one. everyone can manage a little masterpiece, & in the end feeling proud of the accomplishment.

i've corralled the paper in a cardboard tray that fancy mushrooms had come in; it's the perfect size. if you haven't a tray small enough, look in your pantry. you could cut a snack box in half, horizontally, to make one of your own.

set out a water bowl, a rag for drying brushes, paint sets, & a selection of brushes. those that come with the watercolor sets are not good for bigger kids. instead, offer quality brushes, in different sizes. make sure there is at least one very thin brush, for details.

you needn't spend a lot of money on this set up. check your craft store or amazon for supplies. heck, check your dollar store, you may get lucky.

once your child is in the appropriate attire for painting little masterpieces; in this case a dirty shirt found beneath the bed, jammie bottoms, & a fancy hat; let him/her have at it!

as each painting is completed, hang it to dry with clothespins. it was too windy to hang thehobbit's on the line, so we opted for the fence. i even broke out the package of mini clothespins i'd been saving - sticking with the theme of little.

if you don't have a fence, or a line, you can tack string onto a wall, & hang the paintings on that. or even on a willing bush, or tree!

of course i realize this set up works only for a single child. those of you with hordes of children will need either many fruit crates, or a one large surface. perhaps a coffee table you're no longer using?
we are going to use our old coffee table in our out-of-doors studio. it can be used as a creating surface when thehobbit has friends over, for sitting upon when using an easel, or for an impromptu picnic. i'm sure a small table & a set of chairs would work better, but we're trying to use what we have in the garage.

as you oldies will recall, i'm not a summer gal. i prefer cooler weather, & gray skies. however, this mini prelude to our studio under the sky is making me thrilled that summer is nearly here.
i hope this inspires you to set up your own area for creating outside. & no! you don't need a yard to do this. a patio, or even a balcony would work just as well. think creatively, & you'll find a way. please leave a comment (with a link to photos) of what you come up with. if you already have an area set up, leave a comment right now! i want to steal see!

paintings :: the paintings in this post were all created by thehobbit.


SewnNatural said...

this is fantastic! can i post it on the naturalkids blog some thursday?

Prettydreamer said...

kat, very fun ... what a great day to bring the art making outside! ~pamela

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