Bringing Autumn In
Last week we had some quintessential autumn days. The cool winds made a fleece necessary and a hat pleasant but the sun warmed us and seemed to set the colours alight. I wrote about our walk through an autumn day last week, but here I want to share some images of autumn colour that we captured inside our home.
Something that I am beginning to explore with the boys is wet on wet water colour painting. Whenever I’ve seen it on blogs or photos I always admire the way the colours create such a gentle effect. Last week I wanted to capture some of the beautiful autumn colours that we are seeing around us so I set out three colours, red, yellow and orange. The water colours I use are tube ones that I got from Michael’s and they work really well.
I have done a bit of wet on wet painting with Huwyl before and found that limiting the palette worked really well. I don’t want to overtly say to him ‘we are painting about autumn’ but by giving him autumnal colours (or ocean colours, or forest colours…) I hope that a story will emerge within his own mind. He certainly didn’t complain about the limited colour range and enjoyed exploring the ways in the which the colours merged and changed as they melted together. As his painting evolved so did the ‘story’ he told about it, exploring what the colours and shapes meant to him. This, to me, is the joy of this process. It allows for reflection, change and imagination to connect.
This was the first time I’ve brought Neirin into the mix however, which felt like a bit of a risk. Though I try to let go of perfection when I am working with this little guy I still find it hard not to be a teensy bit stressed by his slightly erratic paint table etiquette! I had to work hard to walk the balance between preserving the paint and table so that we could all work and giving him the chance to explore and learn.
While painting like this with a toddler is not without its challenges I would recommend it. The process is so simple one can hardly fail to produce something delicate and beautiful. What a feeling of empowerment that must be for a child, to bring something unmistakably beautiful into the world, to be a true artist and maker of things.
I remember laughing internally as I struggled with Neirin, trying to prevent him from knocking the paint flying or drinking the brush rinse water, or knocking the rinse water flying while drinking the paint. I thought rather wryly that this was not the serene image I had of an afternoon of water colour painting, of creating beautiful papers with my two boys. But then what about motherhood is what we expect?
Then, as I review the photos I took on that glorious autumn afternoon, as my memories are censored by time, that wonderful ‘mummy brain’ kicks in allowing me to slowly release the moments of difficulty and frustration, the bits that didn’t work, the bits I didn’t like. I can bring to the fore the golden moments, the beauty of watching my children experience colour and creativity, their brushes moving the paint and making it their own.
As I look back all I can remember