Finding Art in Nature: Starry Night

We were playing in the bush out the back the other day and we stumbled across this fallen tree. Jack (3.5yrs) was climbing over it when he stopped. He was staring at the bark, ran his fingers over it and said, “Mummy, this tree is just like Starry Night in Vincent’s Colours.’ It was such a beautiful observation.

We have this amazing book called Vincent’s Colors. It is a picture book of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works with a description in his own words.  We’ve been reading it a lot lately and so this is how Jack made the connection.

This is the tree, can you see it there in the picture?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be a child again and be awed by something as simple as a fallen tree? To find one of the great masterpieces in its bark? After a little bit of tugging, we managed to pry some loose and took some of this gorgeous swirly bark home with us.
Today Jack and Sarah (18 mths) used the bark as inspiration for some watercolour painting. Jack and I talked about the colours in the painting, and after choosing his colours, we talked about what originally inspired Jack to see Starry Night in the bark; the swirls. I showed Jack how to use the brush gently, so as not to squash the bristles, and get good contact with the paper.

‘You have to push gently to draw the stars. See they go round and round.’

They painted beautifully, peacefully, creating their artwork. In van Gogh’s words,

‘and in my head a starry night’

6 thoughts on “Finding Art in Nature: Starry Night

    • Thanks Lise. I’m wondering where he will take it next. The pictures did turn out quite beautifully, I love how proud Jack is of his work. He’s only just started to admire his work and want to keep it.

    • Thanks Chelsey. I wasn’t sure how he was going to approach the painting. He’s usually quite rough with the brushes. I think it took quite a bit of focus and shoulder strength to hold the brush up but he was so pleased with his swirls that he kept trying. I’m really loving watching him grow and discover new things.

  1. Pingback: Setting up a Reggio-inspired Painting Activity at Home | An Everyday Story

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