Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Go on an Art-n-Nature Art Element of Line Hike

As promised in last week’s post, Planning and Preparing for Our First Art-n-Nature Hike on the Element of Line, today I am sharing a report about our first hike -- which was rather idyllic.

Hopefully, as you review the photos and explanations of our Line Hike, you will gain ideas for enjoying your own Element of Line-inspired nature experiences! (If so, I’d love it if you’d stop back and tell us about them in a comment.)

Our Line Hike

Although a number of families RSVP’d for the hike, only one other family was able to make it and what a time we had!

When we got to the trailhead, the “big boys” were pysched to get going! 

Nina and Jack, however, were less enthused. Jack wanted to be carried and Nina was “in a mood”.

Knowing Nina and Jack would quickly regroup after morning snack, the other mom and I decided to sit down at the trailhead for a quick bite as I lead a brief discussion about the art element line. 

We each drew a type of line on an index card, defined a line as being a moving point or a path traced between two points, then, named and drew a wide variety of lines on more index cards. Each child selected at least one of these cards before setting off on the trail. 

Their challenge was to find examples of lines in nature, noticing the wide variety of interesting natural lines around us. In doing so, they noticed many other natural wonders, too. 

It seemed that every step we initially took along the trail resulted in dozens of grasshoppers jumping in every direction. This, of course, thrilled and enthralled the children, who tried to spy where each grasshopper landed on the flowers around us and even caught a few to inspect, noticing the angular lines of the grasshoppers’ legs. 

Jack also inspected bits of wood and nuts found along the trail, comparing the lines and shapes of each.

And, all of us noted bright blooms that were not as plentiful as the other flowering plants around us. When we did, I wondered aloud about how and why these blooms came to be where they were and the children hypothesized about bird droppings, seeds catching on hikers, etc. 

I also drew the children’s attention to creatures I spotted along the way. These, they enjoyed inspecting from a closer point of view. 

After hiking along and taking in the spectacular natural beauty for a while, we finally sat down to do our first simple project: a watercolor resist. 

The trail we hiked paralleled a river at points, so my plan was to notice autumn leaves floating on the water and, then, to inspect some fallen ones near to us before creating stylized leaves out of wax crayons and oil pastels with a blue watercolor wash over them. However, the foliage was still too dense to get a good view of the river – and what we could see of it was more brown than blue, of course. 

No matter. I adapted the plan by having the children each find leaves to inspect for line. 

We then used these as inspiration to draw shapes on paper, which we divided into sections. In each of these sections, I suggested that the children draw a different type of line

Then, as the children took a break to eat picnic lunches and collect hickory nuts, I secretly wrote a message on each child's paper in white.  

I, then, invited the children to paint a water color wash over their drawings.  My children had done resists before and always enjoy doing them. The other children had not and, thus, reacted with “Cool!” as they witnessed their crayon and pastel lines resisting the watercolor paint. 

While we were doing the project, we noted some sort of chrysalis or cocoon on a nearby branch.

After the project, I shared some printouts of Andy Goldsworthy’s art and challenged the kids to create their own nature art. 

They happily set to work as a team gathering hickory nuts to hold a perpendicular line (stick), which they topped with a colorful leaf.  Then, there was more hickory nut play before we all headed back out to the trailhead. 

During the walk back, we continued to spot natural lines in the flowers, grasses, trees, critters, etc. and to enjoy the grasshoppers and other we spied along the way...

... including a stick bug that hitched a ride with us for a short while. 

It was truly an idyllic day, filled with discovery, wonder, art, nature and friendship – just what we were looking for when we began our fall Art-n-Nature hiking club. 

In the weeks to come, I will share about the other hikes we have done. 

Enjoy the Other Posts in This Series...


And, of course, please feel free to comment with your favorite ideas and inspiration on Line, Shape, Form, Color, Value, Texture and Space, as well as to visit our growing Art-n-Nature Hikes Pinterest board, where you'll find reports, ideas and inspiration.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Wow! What an amazing learning experience! Great job. I just love how organized this was. The kids look like they had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks so much for sharing! I can't wait to try this as well. Though it will likely have to wait for spring. I can't imagine too many people will want to do winter hikes around here.


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