STEM@Home: Art in Nature

ART vs. NATURE: The ultimate showdown! So what side are you on? Ecosystems, dichotomous keys and dissection NATURE? Or touchy-feely, rainbows and pretty pictures ART? Hold up there, buckaroo – the line between Art and Nature is not as clear as it may seem.

Throughout history, artists have been inspired by the colors and textures of the natural world, and choose materials from nature to represent what they see. While nature-lovers, also known as scientists, represent the detailed patterns and intricate structures of plants and animals in the natural world.

Let’s put this battle to rest and accept that Art PLUS Nature combines the best of both worlds. So why not study the Art IN Nature? Lucky you – the STEM@Home blog from ExploreHope is here to help you do just that! Our camp counselors Annie and Danielle, from the 2020 Art in Nature Hope Summer Science Camp, will lead you through tons of activities exploring how art and nature intersect. Check them out below!

Color Your World

Ever wonder what color is, anyway? How many colors are there, and where did they come from? Annie and Danielle walk you through experimenting with prisms to find the seven colors humans can see, make paint using natural pigments, and discover a secret color only animals can see!

For the activities in this video, you’ll want a prism, white paper, ultraviolet (UV) pigment or pen, a black light, and natural pigments such as spices, fruits, and egg yolk. Most of the pigments used can be found in your own kitchen. UV pens and UV keychain lights can be purchased for a few dollars from retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

For more information on making natural pigments, check out Experimenting With Natural Paints from the Artful Kids blog. What to do with your homemade paint once you make it? How about making a homemade paintbrush for a totall from-scratch artwork?

Art that Touches Your Heart – and Fingers

Before the Industrial Revolution, artists not only mixed their own paints, but made their own paintbrushes, too – usually from animal hair or fur. Broaden your horizons and try pine needles, blades of grass, or willow leaves in your homemade paintbrush. The only limit is what you can rubber band to a brush stick!

For this activity, you’ll need long sticks (from nature or chopsticks also work), rubber bands, and a variety of natural materials to try. You could try moss, leaves (big and small), pine needles, and even a snip of your pet’s fur – with parental permission, of course!

Once you make your totally once-of-a-kind, unrepeatable artistic creation with natural paints and natural brushes, show it to the world – and especially ExploreHope! Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when you share your amazing art projects. We can’t wait to get inspired!

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