Friday, 31 August 2012

Goodbye, "horrible" summer!

We are on our last few days of "summer holidays".  Overall, I think we've had a truly well-rested month -- we did many activities I would consider as exploratory.  For the month of August, I have been feeling quite detached from the academic aspects of homeschooling, that is, until this week.  Even after 7 years, I still suffer from minor back-to-homeschool anxiety....

I mean, surely one cannot feel uplifted if one were constantly surrounded by... Horrible Science:


Horrible History:

and Horrible Geography:

This post is linked up to:
1) Homeschool Mother's Journal: August 31, 2012
2) Collage Friday - Mostly Math
3) Weekly Wrap-Up
4) Favourite Resources: August 31, 2012
5) Enchanted Thursday Blog Hop #29
6) All Year Round Blog Carnival: Summer

Thursday, 30 August 2012

A natural way to fall in love

I must confess that we haven't done any structured nature study this summer.  However, we did have a lot of fun spending time and just being in nature.

Sometime at the beginning to summer, I fell totally in love with poppies.

I just couldn't get enough of them, so I went crazy in my nature journal playing with different images of them:

Tiger saw how I went crazy with painting loosely the poppies so he decided to have a go at doing it himself:

The above are more artistic interpretations of poppies than accurate botanical illustrations.  However, we are finding that painting loosely removes the pressure of having to be absolutely accurate and precise, thus freeing us to observe and record our experiences with the objects and/or with the environment.  At this point, we tend more towards an artistic interpretation of our interaction with nature, rather than a precise, scentific record of flora and fauna.

Having said that, I do admire very much the accuracy and precision of botanical illustrations.  It's just not realistic to expect Tiger to be able to draw in that way, especially when he has not shown any inclination towards realism.  Right now I am more concerned with establishing a habit of nature journaling than with having Tiger draw realistically.  What else is in our nature journals this summer?

A glimpse into Tiger's nature journal for the summer:


My nature journal saw a gradual evolution into more tightly drawn images:

After a while I decided to try turning the record into journaling, rather than mere paintings:

The process has been gradual, but I'm definitely falling in love with nature journaling.  It feels as though we've approached it from a roundabout way, in terms of starting off with very loose recording with no concern for accuracy.  However, if we had started off with a focus on precision, we might have given up after a few attempts.  Enjoying the process is a big part of keeping our motivation going.

This post is linked up to:
1) All Year Round Blog Carnival: Summer
2) Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop #29
3) Science Sunday: Canine and their relatives

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A summer of artistic scratching...

By "scratching", I mean finding our way through trying out different ideas and/or activities.  This summer we have specifically done lots of scratching with art, specifically in the areas of mixed media and art journaling.  As with most activities that happen around here, the scratching process was as much for Tiger's exposure as it was for my personal exploration into these two areas of art.

We found there to be much overlap between mixed media and art journaling, in terms of applying multiple layers of medium and paint.  Tiger loved the process of making mixed media art because of the potential of making a mess...

Unfinished mixed media art
We then tried to use what we have learned so far,to another project.  The difference in the second project is that it involved random application of paint (similar to abstract art), rather than multiple layers of ephemera.  Tiger used a canvas board while I did mine on gessoed sketchbook pages.

Tiger's unfinished abstract art
Mine unfinished spread, to be used as the background to journaling pages.
Tiger also tried his hand at using layering and stamping technique in his art journal.

Creating art involves much scratching for ideas, playing around, and experimenting.  Almost all of the pieces of work shown above are incomplete.  At some point we will complete them, but the process of experimentation is just as useful as producing the final piece of work.  The most important part of it all?  We played!

This post is linked up to:
1) All Year Round Blog Carnival: Summer
2) Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/28/12
3) Collage Friday - All about the Haircut
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