There are things in our surroundings which are so indicative of the elements in art that it grabs me by the brain and rattles me…maybe not the best expression.  Well nature is amazing and it’s creator, adventurous to say the very least.


This bouganvillier was in such bloom that spring that I could hardly see the leaves for the “flowers”.  However, did you know that the pink (in this case) is not the flower but only adapted leaves which attract insects for pollination.  The tiny flowers are inside surrounded by the pink leaves.

Just look at this lettuce from my garden.  It’s so green! I could even photograph many greens found in nature and have the kids arrange them and match the specific name of that green to them.


Looking at things that have a texture and comparing them should be introduced after feeling things which have texture. 

Only then should children draw texture.  This takes the process from the concrete to the very abstract in three easy steps.





Here we can compare the soft spiky fur of Nimbus to the spikyness of the flowers.  Neither of them is an incredibly hard kind of spike yet they are different in the way they look.


This is another photo I took in my garden.  The flowers seem huge in comparison to the plant.  This can help children realise that to create depth on a 2D surface the objects in the front need to appear larger than those in the back.  Even the leaves in this photo are different sizes.  Children need to practise this.  It’s a difficult thing to teach I think.  All the more reason to try!


 Lets compare the tortoise-shell to the grass.  When we teach pattern we use the rule of repetition.  However if you look at his shell closely you will notice that the repetition is predictable.  Each shell piece repeats, lines repeat in a predictable direction even the smaller patterns repeat.

Now look at the grass.  It is the same shape, a blade of grass, repeated many many times.  However the direction in which it repeats is in no way predictable.  It is an unpredictable pattern.  I would argue that the tortoise and grass are organic patterns.  This is true since they are not geometric patterns.  If you want all three in your photo then when you take a photo with an organic patterns make sure you were a very inorganic shirt. 

So.  Geometric patterning is when geometric shapes are repeated in a pattern.  So this too is a predictable pattern but not an organic pattern.  Got it?  (Much laughter here).


I find it incredible that He designed the gooseberry to present their fruits in wrapped packages.  Very very seldom do I find something has gotten to that berry before me.  Most times it was because I opened the pouch only to find the berry was still green and I left it there to ripen…silly me!

But do someday take some dry pouches to class and have the kids draw them as a contour drawings.  The lines are fascinating.

They go from thick to thin so nicely around that pouch.  Between the straight lines are the wiggly curvy ones  – a lovely contrast, and a lovely vitamin-filled treat.  Also they grow so easily from bought gooseberries.  Fabulous!

Please send me any pictures you find which are inspiring and teaching.  Nature has so much to offer and walking the streets taking photos is fun.