Nurturing an intimate relationship with nature (Trees)

Continuing our investigation of the spirit of nature, we delved deeper into our relationship with trees.

By allowing students to choose their own tree, they feel an instant connection. They can feel the texture of the tree, watch it swaying in the wind. They can explore the birds and insects that live in and around the tree.

Today we learned about Canadian Artsist Emily Carr. I felt Emily Carr would be a good example to show how an artist can paint and draw how they feel and experience the “spirit of the trees

We spent sometime looking at Emily Carr’s beautiful paintings of the forest trees and learned why she painted the trees in such a way. Emily Carr began her career as an artist as a realist painter – paintings that are a detailed and accurate representation of the visual appearance of scenes and objects – kind of like taking a photograph.

Over time however, Emily felt she needed to express her feeling more freely and how she felt about the trees. She wished to share the grandeur, magic, and spirit of forest. She painted trees that looked different; trees that looked like they might be telling stories or trees that were dancing. She made the paint tell the story of how she felt when she was out in nature; she let the paint show how trees and clouds and water move and are alive. Emily was trying to show people a new way of making and seeing art.

Emily painted to share her experience of being in nature and the wilderness. Emily told us what she was feeling when she looked at a big open sky, or stood in a forest of tall trees.

I took the grade one students outside to paint. I wanted them to witness the trees dancing and to express how the trees made them feel in their paintings. (We took our sketches we had created from our previous nature walk and reverted back to the words we wrote about how the trees made us feel for more inspiration.)

Painting from the heart

Luckily, we found some trees and the wind blessed us with a gentle breeze, making the trees dance in the dappled sunlight. We observed the movement of the swaying trees. We stood up and danced like the trees.

We felt alive, colourful and happy and painted with our hearts

The students lost themselves in the vibrant flow of their very own, unique creative energy.

I think Emily Carr would have loved the students soulful paintings!

These wonderful “spirit of the tree” paintings will become the backdrop for our little stage performance at the end of the project.

“Nothing can substitute for walking in nature, hearing birds, looking for shells on the beach, watching the daily growth of a flower in the garden. From the very beginning of life it is vital to maintain the link between the child and nature.” — Maria Montessori

I believe that every adult has the responsibility to nurture a child’s creativity and I cannot think of a more awe-inspiring environment to do so,

At Educating the Heart we dedicate a whole chapter to our beautiful friends the Trees in our NATURE ART PROGRAM

To learn more about the program watch the short video :

To learn more about Art starts in schools visit: Artstarts

Wishing you all a beautiful and creative week in nature, love and peace Marghanita x

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