Here’s what’s been happening…the older children, led by textile artist Veena Scialo, took inspiration from the tranquility of the beautiful botanical masterpiece that was Claude Monet‘s garden at Giverny. In particular, his series of 250 paintings, the Water-Lillies.
Monet moved to his pink house at Giverny in 1883, where he cultivated a highly floral garden, a pond to nurture aquatic plants over which he built an arched bridge in the Japanese style.
To recreate this scene, the children first watched a short film about the Impressionist, Claude Monet, which focussed on his lily pond. This gave the context to explore the palette of cool greens and blues to recreate the pond surface. Using a paper plate for the pond palette, the class applied oil pastels to the base. These were covered with blue and green watercolour paint to create a multi textured background.
Once dry, a layer of poster paint was added to the plate, which the children mixed into swirling water patterns using their fingers. To resist the paint from blending completely, they applied masking tape to some areas beforehand, to keep them blue.
Whilst the paint dried, little fingers carefully cut a variety of leaf shapes and sizes from green card and lily petals from tissue paper. Together they built miniature flowering lilies to grace the surface of the water. Monet would admire the magical effect.
To construct the model bridge required bamboo, masking tape, straws, card and wire. This was a challenging element of the project, so the children built their patience, tenacity and problem solving skills.
Claude Monet would be delighted to know that his awe inspiring paintings are encouraging small fingers to create beautiful works of art over 100 years after he painted his water lily pictures.