Thursday, 15 December 2016

Art for Busy Minds: Finding Peace and Calm in Painting

For something different, our kids are in the city for an intensive week of arts programs at the University of Queensland. They are usually home educated in a vibrant rural community surrounded by nature and permaculture.

Most of the extra programs that they've chosen before have been typically been maths and science based. It's great to see that they are trying new things. Not surprisingly, they are loving delving into the arts and I'm impressed with what they are experiencing, creating and learning.

Today's focus was painting. They learnt about Monet and Impressionism. They had a go at painting Claude Monet's Waterlilies and Japanese Bridge painted in 1899, and enjoyed a guided tour of the University's Art Gallery. Yesterday was cartooning and illustrating which they loved too.

To create these paintings, they first had to mix their own colours. It apparently took them all morning to paint these pictures, and I know for Hugh in particular, it would have really taken quite an effort to be so focussed and patient. These are such good skills to cultivate - almost a meditative practice. 

Such active young minds need opportunities to be calm and develop strategies to access that peace. I can see a painting studio being developed in the midst of our permaculture garden, and I think I might just join them. It's been a long time since I painted and I remember just loving it! I may need some pointers to get going though ....

These photos were taken at night so don't do their colours justice.

10 yo Maia's version of Monet's Waterlilies and the Japanese Bridge

8 yo Hugh's version of Monet's Waterlilies and the Japanese Bridge
In case you were wondering, this holiday program is run by Kids College QLD. They run regular holiday programs on a range of topics (maths, science, the arts) - but usually just one day sessions. This 5 day intensive is a great chance for kids to delve more deeply into the topic and to form some new friendships.

12 comments:

  1. Wow! Those look impressive to me for such young kids. Sounds like a really cool program.

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    1. Yes - I was amazed at what they learnt in a day. They've asked to do painting more regularly next term so I'm looking for a good local mentor.

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  2. What a great opportunity.
    Love the paintings.

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    1. Thanks Jean. I really want to support them continuing painting. They had a glimpse and I think are hooked!

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  3. Such lovely paintings! And a great opportunity for your children. Meg:)

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    1. Thanks Meg. I like these sorts of programs because it exposes them to new ways of seeing, and an opportunity to cultivate new skills. I was impressed with what they created - completely different from previous works.

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  4. wow your kids have a good eye, isn't it amazing how differently one picture can be painted
    well done kids! looking forward to seeing more of your arts progress :))

    thanx for sharing

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    1. Thanks Selina. Yes, we are pretty sure painting will be a regular activity next term.

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  5. I think your children are very talented, Morag. I am not sure I could paint like that :-)

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    1. Thanks! I wish I could paint like that too. I really want to create a painting/arts studio in the garden and join them in getting creative.

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  6. I find kids understand and pick up the general concepts of impressionism (as opposed to other styles) pretty quickly. Mixing colours is all engrossing and just wonderful to watch. I have a friend who uses a base white paint and then mixes colours from her surroundings from rocks and plants - not always successful but super interesting.

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    1. We'll have to experiment with that too - sounds fun. We've been trying to make some calligraphy inks from vegetables which has been interesting too.

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