• Lindsey

These are the leaves

Updated: Jan 19

In early November the backpackers and I roamed the foothills again, through the piles of fallen leaves. Halloween shirts and masks were mostly gone, but Minecraft was back in a big way.

We did our typical scrambling on rocks at the beginning, and played with the mini-banners I brought, images from our previous excursions that are printed on vinyl.

We were relaxed that day, and were able to be a little more focused. Normally there is so much new to explore…so we have to sneak art-making in between looking at spiderwebs and climbing boulders. But they know this location well and fall had already set in, so they had played in these leaves already.

But they were ready to make art this day. We sat at the concrete tables and painted on large sheets of watercolor paper together, and chatted about what we were making. I brought a variety of brush sizes, the largest one about 3/4”. The backpackers were very comfortable with watercolor paint, they've had a lot of practice. They loved trying out the different brushes, and they were not afraid of mixing color. We played with “splattering” paint by flicking a loaded brush at the paper, bouncing the handle against one finger to send the paint flying.

There were robots, monsters, and animal-hybrids drawn and painted, as well as the “whole page challenge”—where I encouraged them to cover every bit of the paper.

Sometimes they brought out learning sheets, that explain the anatomy of plants. "These are the leaves" one said. They went back and forth between painting big watercolor paper and learning about the shapes of leaves.

Some of these paintings I kept, for us to work on the next time we meet. Others, they were very excited to take home...and rightfully so.

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