About a year ago I was visiting a French market in New Brunswick, Canada, with a sweet friend and several of my (also sweet) daughters. We came across a stand where a local artist had created paintings using acrylics and a variety of found objects from nature, such as shells, bits of driftwood, tiny pebbles, and so on. As soon as I saw those paintings, I thought of the children in the homeschool group and tucked the idea away in the back of my mind, planning to simplify and adapt the idea for a group craft. Strangely enough, we arrived home from vacation to find that my grandmother was displaying all the shells she’s collected over the years before getting rid of them. I asked her if the homeschool group might have the little ones when she was ready to pass them along, and – voilà – we were halfway to having a craft night.
The scene depicted above was not copied from the artist at the market. It is a scene I created, keeping in mind that I wanted it to work with a wide variety of ages (so it needed to be simple enough for the younger children but interesting enough for the older ones) and somehow incorporate shells and other media. The supply list and directions given below name certain colors of Apple Barrel brand acrylic craft paint—which were on a very good sale the night we picked up supplies (Thank you, Lord!)—but you could substitute other colors or another brand or even different mixed media and still complete the project successfully. Be creative and have fun!
Click here for PDF document containing supply list and directions.
A few samples of finished paintings by children in the homeschool group:
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