Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's Art Smarts: Painting With Nature

Hello Spring!

Nothing says, "It's Spring!" like flowers in bloom.  Around here, we love flowers.  At least, Natalie and I love flowers.  I think the boys could take 'em or leave 'em (including my husband), but since Natalie and I are fans, we have them.  And decorate with them.  

Today's project is actually called "Flower Pounding," and the gist of it is exactly how it sounds.  You pound some flowers.  A lot.  And you end up with something really beautiful.  I thought this project might be the best of both worlds for my kids: Daniel gets to pound with his new hammer and Natalie gets to make giant flower gardens.

Okay, here we go.


fresh flowers and leaves
fabric (we used cheap utility fabric from JoAnn's)
butter knife
large piece of wood or mat

Since it has been such a nice day, I decided we should take this project outside.  And it's fortunate that we did, because this is a little messy.

Choose a few flowers and leaves and arrange them on half of a scrap of fabric.  I also picked a few blades of grass and weeds.  Yes, we have lots of weeds in our yard.  It's the natural look around here, folks.

Fold the other half of your fabric over your flowers...

And pound them!  Daniel loved this part.  The trick is to pound for just the right amount of time.  If you stop too soon, you won't get much color, but if you keep pounding (as I discovered) your colors start to blend in an unappealing way....leaving you with a lot of brown.

Natalie loved this art project and took it very seriously :)

Once you've decided you're done pounding, open up your fabric.

What a (colorful) mess!  Scrape off the bits with your butter knife.

You should end up with a very impressionist flower garden.

The artists:

There are so many fun ways to use these, but a word of caution: I can't vouch for how well they will wash.  The color might bleed...or fade.  So whatever you do, keep that in mind.

What did we do with ours?

I've had these hoops hanging in our dining room for quite awhile, so I decided to switch out the fabric and hang our garden in there:

Of course, I couldn't throw the extra flowers away.  

Spring!  Or summer, more like.  I can't believe June is here.  Crazy-town.

Have fun with this!  If you decide to try this project with your family (or on your own -- it was as much fun for me as it was for the kids!), I'd love for you to leave a link so that I can see how it turned out for you!

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jessica! You should make some - it was so easy!

  2. How pretty! I love how you displayed the art in the end. Just pinned!

    1. Yay! So glad you liked it. If you do end up trying this, I'd love to see what you end up with :)

  3. Wow this is so cool and clever! Need to try need to try!

    Visiting from Monday Parenting Pin it linky
    Also pinned

    1. So glad to inspire you, and do try it -- it's so much fun! If you do, I'd love for you to post a link so I can hop over and see your finished project!

  4. I love this idea! My boys are a little too small to be trusted with a hammer yet but I'll save this for next summer. Thanks for linking up to our Parenting Pin-it Party

    1. Sometimes it's good to have several ideas in the arsenal for the coming days (or years!). Even if your boys are a little young this year, you should give it a go. I seriously had as much fun as my kiddos with this one!

  5. This is great! My daughter might resist 'hurting' the flowers but maybe I can talk her into it!

    1. So sweet! Well, if she can get past it, I'm sure she'll love her little garden. I had to really talk Natalie into *letting me* use a couple of her creations to hang in the dining room - the rest are in her bedroom :)

  6. The kids nature paintings look great! My boys tried this too and loved the hammering! I am pinning this post after seeing it on the Monday Parenting Pin Party!

    1. Cool, thanks! I definitely think the hammering was my son's favorite part, for sure!

  7. What a great idea. I think I will do that with my granddaughter in the summer. We don't have any flowers yet. We do have leaves on the trees, blossoms on the apple trees and weeds in the grass. The dandelions are amazing.
    Following you from We Made That.
    Janis Author/Ilustrator for Tadeo Turtle

    1. I hope you guys have fun with this one! Thanks for reading :)

  8. Hi I love this thanks for linking up- I'm going to feature this is on our Mondays Parenting party round up. Hope that's OK.

  9. I featured you today on the Hearts for Home Blog hop! What a wonderful idea this was! :) I hope you stop on by to grab your "I was featured" button and link up more of your wonderful ideas!

    1. Wow, thank you! I'm glad that you liked our project :)


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