Session 2: The Art of Botany--Sketching, Photography and Environmental Art (June 16-20)

There is nothing more beautiful than the shapes within a flower.

There is nothing more beautiful than the shapes within a flower.

Children love learning about flowers. They love the diversity of colors, learning how to identify different varieties through a close examination of leaf shapes, sketching, photographing and dissecting them. Over this scented course we investigate the summer time blooms of wild flowers, examine seed pods as we discuss how the next generation of plants take root, and examine the various parts of the plant. Dissections allow us to view the structures of these magnificent plants, and because nothing goes to waste, we use the leaves and petals to create environmental Goldworthy Art that comes from and blends into the landscapes we pass through. Our artists capture their experiences as they sketch, take photographs, and define the various parts of the botanical world of the Bay Area. This session is for children that love to explore outside.

There is nothing more powerful than creating art as a team of dreamers working with driftwood.

There is nothing more powerful than creating art as a team of dreamers working with driftwood.

  • Monday--Pescadero Marsh
  • Tuesday--The Beaches of Half Moon Bay
  • Wednesday--San Francisco (Golden Gate Park)
  • Thursday--Ano Nuevo 
  • Friday--Butano State Park

Monday--Pescadero Beach and Marsh for a fun day of building sand castles, driftwood forts, and climbing trees.   Pescadero Beach, a wide and sandy beach, is the perfect place to sketch the wide beach,  build driftwood forts, sand castles, and to climb a tree. As we explore the trails, we see great blue herons, egrets, swooping terns, and even a bird condo where birds nest during the spring and summer months. If we are lucky, and our eyes keen, we may even see a tree frog resting on the spiky leaves of a blackberry briar, and if they are ripe and juicy, eat a few wild blackberries. Beneath the waters, we may see a gleaming steelhead hunting in the marsh. There are so many plants to draw, and here we will begin to discuss how to capture the beauty of a blossoming flower, how to make powerful compositions, and the medium necessary to get the best effect. 

Tuesday--The Beaches of Half Moon Bay. Blissful beaches are places of beauty and creativity. Children  have time to look for shells, make forts complete with motes next to the stream flowing through the beach, and create intricate Goldworthy inspired art. After building driftwood forts, and decorating them, children  eat lunch and then have time to sketch their driftwood forts looking for artistic inspiration found in the twisting and interesting weathered wood. Children are allowed to bring Frisbees and kites.

Wednesday--San Mateo's Central Park. Rose gardens glisten with morning dew, and spreading out through the fragrant garden, our artists begin to peer deeper into the blooms to find their patterns, hues, and what buzzes about them. Spending the morning sketching, painting, and composing is great, but having time to wander around the Japanese tea garden is even more of a treat. We have time to explore this elaborate garden, feed the fish bread pellets provided by docents, and time to draw. If a Japanese Garden is able to inspire Monet, then it has the possibility of inspiring your child's creativity as well. 

Thursday--Ano Nuevo's famous elephant seals and sand dunes. After a beautiful drive along the San Mateo coastline, we arrive at Ano Nuevo. As we hike through fields of wild blackberries and wild flowers, turkey vultures and kites glide through the air looking for their lunch. Soon we arrive at an interpretive center to find out information about elephant seals and sea otters before trekking across sand-dunes to see these powerful mammals sunbathing by the seashore. If the wind is just right, we will hear their sonorous roar from miles away. We gaze back at the coastal mountains and can imagine how they capture the fog and the rain that comes in from the Pacific Ocean and fills the streams. We have time to draw with colored pencils upon the boardwalk looking out over the elephant seals and time to run along the wide and expansive beach. 

Friday--Butano State Park--Groves of ancient redwood trees tower above us. How did they get to be so tall? How have they survived through the ages? In the morning, if we are lucky, the last bits of wispy fog are still present in the forest. This vital moisture is the key to the success of these amazing trees that have survived through the ages. Active explorers learn about how fragile the environment is by seeing these magnificent trees up close. As we climb through the forest, we begin to feel less humid air, and soon we no longer find massive redwood trees. Is there a link? An awe in spiring day, children love spending time exploring this wonderful forest environment.  This is the perfect day to learn how many types of green actually exist in nature...an infinite amount. We have time to put finishing touches on projects.

 

Imagination needs room to develop and natural materials to arrange artfully.

Imagination needs room to develop and natural materials to arrange artfully.