Thursday, May 21, 2015

Red Clover Painting Exploration

We're really excited to be participating in the first "Tour the World by Flower" blog hop as hosted by Playground Parkbench. Bloggers from all over the world are sharing their state or national flower and a fun kid project idea focused on that flower. It's been really fun to see all the different ideas pop up from the amazing group of bloggers.

This week the spring flowers are in their full glory here in Northern New England. Everything seems to be blooming, each day the boys and I are excited to see something newly opened up. And although some of the currently blooming flowers (lilacs, tulips, apple trees, irises to name a few) are family favorites, none of them are our Vermont state flower: the Red Clover.

The red clover is such a simple, almost practical flower. Of course it makes sense to be our state flower when we think of all the farm fields full of the clover plants, blooming a little later in the summertime. Perfect for animals and insects like bees, adding just a pop of color to the green fields. 

When I started thinking about how we might create some red clover replicas, I was inspired by Crafty Morning's post on Dish Brush Dandelions. It got me thinking about how we might use dish brushes and other household items to paint red clover pictures. 

Paint (we used red, purple, green, and white) 
White paper
Paint brushes
Dish brushes (we were pretty excited to find the unusually shaped small brushes recently, we'll definitely be buying more shapes soon)
Paint trays
Cotton balls and clothespins

I wanted to put out a variety of materials so that the boys could chose from among the materials as they explored trying to create a red clover flower painting. 

Before beginning we looked at some images of red clover flowers on the internet, talked about the color (closer to a purple than red) and counted how many leaves were grouped together (3). 

To get our "red clover" color, I mixed a little red and purple in the center of one of our paint trays and added some white and green to the side containers. 

The boys eagerly began exploring the different painting tools. Little Brother especially loved the dish brush for painting. 

Big Brother was more careful and thoughtful about which tool he was taking and about how he might use the different tools to create his flowers. 

This included using the tools to create different textures. 

Each time he worked he made sure he included three things: flower bud, stem, and leaves. 

Little Brother continued to be more interested exploring the different tools, and less interested in trying to make it look like a flower. 

In the end, all three of us made a couple of different paintings. It was so interesting to see how they were both the same and different from one another. 

I would love to try to do this with a larger group of kiddos and then compare what made the pictures the same and different. 

We'll also be setting up more of these art explorations for the boys, as it was really neat to see how they could change the use of the painting tool as they worked. 

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