Making More Marks

One of the most rewarding aspects of art is the joy that comes from sharing. I love when the young grandkids come over and their first question is “Grandma, can we go down to the art studio?” They’re always interested in seeing my latest paintings and always eager to try art projects of their own.

Needless to say, they were fascinated when they found leaves and twigs in the studio, the “tools” I used for my first attempts at natural mark-makingIt looked like fun to both Madox and Carsen, so we grabbed my little gansai set and headed outdoors so they could find their own natural implements.

I don’t recall now what leaves and twigs they used, but I know we all had a good time making our marks with a little help from Mother Nature.

These two were made by Madox. He enjoyed seeing what different ways he could make marks. Meanwhile, I tried to be a bit more “artistic” by doing an actual drawing of sorts:

The best art of the day, I think, was Carsen’s, who used several different colors to create this beautiful painting:

Both boys have shown a lot of interest and a lot of aptitude for art. They’re always wanting to try new things or repeat favorite projects they’ve enjoyed. Carsen is especially interested in making more coasters with alcohol ink, while Madox prefers drawing and painting at the easel.

If you’ve not yet tried painting with nature — in the truest sense — I urge you to do so, and if you have children or grandchildren take them along with you. It will be a memory you’ll have forever.


    1. As we grow older, our focus shifts, I think, from “fun” to “practical.” That’s how art is seen as a child… something fun to do, something playful. So as we get older we’re told to focus on our future, making a living, getting a job. In other words, work. And work is the opposite of play for most people. So children stop “playing with art” and start searching for career interests. Those who continue doing art are often chided as being unrealistic, impractical, and dreamers. I think our society needs to re-evaluate art and creativity, seeing them not as playful asides, but as an integral part of who we are.

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