Yesterday, I was weeding in my garden and the girls were playing in their butterfly garden when I was asked for some help. It sounded roughly like this. "MOOOOOTHHHHHEEERRR!!! Ainsley picked my sunflowers! They're going to DIE." When I got over there, I saw that Ainsley had picked one leaf off of one of these flowers.
(This picture was taken days ago. I don't make my girls pose for blog photos in the middle of a diplomatic engagement.)
I told Hannah that one leaf would not a dead plant make, but that I could understand her frustration. I asked Ainsley why she'd picked the leaf. "It not leaf, Momma, it paintbush."
"It's not really a paintbrush, is it Mother?" asked Hannah. "You couldn't paint with it, could you?" Well, I don't know, so let's find out. Hannah grabbed her own leaf (without any of her sunflowers dying), I reminded Ains not to pick any more, and we went inside and got painting set up. The most important part of setting up painting for the girls is setting Gray up with his own project.
Here, paint sparkly glue onto a coloring page. (I'm a creative mother.)
Then the girls got going with their leaves.
Sure enough, they could be paintbrushes.
This brought on questions about what else could be used to paint. The flowers in the vases on the table, maybe?
The orange peels Mother's picking up to throw away?
The buds that were picked too early?
Especially the buds that were picked too early.
Then Hannah remembered her recently bloomed zinnias and ran out to get some.
She is reaching in in that funny way because she was in a hurry.
The sprinkler was on its way back.
We ended up with many 'process' sheets (it's the process, not the product) that really highlighted practice, experimentation, and creativity, a few of which are on the wall. We also ended up with two 'product' sheets that the girls wanted to put up on the wall.
One was a paper Hannah made with two different flowers that looks startlingly like the night sky on the Fourth of July.
And the second was one by Ainsley that is a vibrant mixture of red, pink, and orange that really is quite pretty on the wall in that strange modern art style.
All in all, it was a smashing success, born from the desperate attempt of a mother to diffuse a potentially deadly* situation. Crisis averted, art produced.
* "deadly" - little girls screaming and crying over misunderstandings and killed sunflowers while a little brother looks on in confusion