The Photo Studio School of Art!

The home ed life is certainly proving to have great variety! After yesterday's up and downs, today was a new day with lots of new fun to be had. Who knew when we woke up this morning that by this evening we would have made some life size art!

Before all that though we met with friends at Crickley Hill. I know Anna and Kate through the Bethesda Toddler Group; we met when Jenson was just a few months old. Their oldest children are Jenson's friends and both are at school but they do have younger siblings who are more Wren's age. It didn't stop Jenson from getting stuck in to some serious play with them both. Boys will be boys and the three of them were soon romping through the woods lugging great big tree branches around! We took a super long circular walk that lasted a good 90 minutes. On our travels Jenson collected a few sticks to whittle and we passed the cows, (probably a bit too closely!)

After we returned home and had warmed up with some hot chocolates topped with serious amounts of marshmallows, Jenson got stuck into his whittling. I'm not sure of the type of wood he found but it was much tougher than the hazel used at forest school. With help from me we managed to strip the bark and a few moments later we were up to our eye balls in paint!

I was pleased to see that our lesson in colour mixing from last week had not been a fruitless exercise. Jenson started to mix the colours and correctly informed me of his choices and what the end result should be. Although the photos make it look fairly calm, these exercises are always a little bit hap hazard, particular as the camera can't pick up Wren screaming for the duration, which I think will be a blessing when I look back on these pictures in years to come!  It was however brilliant to see Jenson's excitement on making a brand new colour.

While the sticks dried by the fire, Jenson quickly moved onto more traditional painting methods before I suggested we might want to up the anti and also the size of our paper!

With help from Jenson, we tided up the room: I moved furniture while he swept. Having my photo studio in our home doesn't always make life easy. For example, when clients want a shoot at 9am on a Saturday morning it means everyone needs to be up, fed, dressed and out by 8am so I have time to tidy the place and transform it into a professional photography studio. However, for today's purpose I was really pleased to have the great rolls of white paper just hanging on the wall of our living room. Once the room was cleared it took a matter of seconds to simply roll one of the 2m wide infinity sheets down. I stripped the kids down to their trousers and away they went! Total creative freedom and the ability to do some seriously big expressive art.

Until now, the biggest sheet of paper they've ever drawn on has been A3. They were a little tentative to start with faced with an entire wall of the white stuff! The paint brushes looked puny so I suggested they might want to think about other ways to mark make. Jenson was soon squirting enourmous amounts of green paint straight onto the paper as Wren busily coated one of her feet in paint! The paint that Grandma bought the kids for Christmas ain't gonna last long! I must admit I did take a bit of a breath as I prepared myself for the slow destruction of our sitting room. Once my brain had digested what my eyes were seeing though, my heart calmed and I of course got straight on the camera to record the event! 

Jenson created a great looking house while Wren stomped around squidging and slipping over the paint that was slowly starting to resemble a giant oil slick! They weren't working together by any means but on pausing to review his work in progress, Jenson made a lovely remark about how it looked like Wren had painted a colourful rainbow over his house. 

After nearly every inch of paper was covered in paint, the pair of them paused and thought about what they could do next. The back wall was looking rather empty so I suggested drawing around them. I've had this idea in mind for a while in the hope it might give us an opportunity to learn a bit more about the human body. It worked! I pulled out a book and stuck it to the wall. 

Jenson took the time to look at the pictures in the book and copy some of the drawings. I explained to him about the function of veins and arteries and pointed a few out to him on his own body. He very carefully tried to copy the book but his lungs did end up in his throat! Next he located the heart and tried to drew it on using a red pen. I suggested getting a fist of red paint instead and squelching it on! Much more effective.

This activity took us up to about 3.45pm, by which point I hauled them both into the bath for a good wash! It's fair to say Jenson was shattered when he got out, so much so he asked if he could get into his pyjamas and have his dinner in front of the TV!

It's been a really interesting day, particularly when I think about how fluid the activities have been. From the walk, Jenson picked up some sticks which led us to painting which led us to giant wall art which led us to the human body. I really like this fluidity of creativity, where Jenson can link thoughts and ideas up without restriction imposed on him by say a teacher who has a set curriculum and lesson plan to follow. It must feel really nice to be be able to have a thought and be able to follow that thought through and really think it out, if you know what I mean. 

It's 7.20pm now and they've both been in bed for the last hour, speaking of which, I really should sign off now as I've got a few photo shoots to edit tonight.