Mixed media jungle: art installation [backyard art camp]

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp]

Hello, backyard art campers! So time to ‘fess up: who keeps finding glitter EVERYWHERE? who has a conspicuous bit of marker pen on the wall/floor that just won’t come off? Have your summer art adventures been plain sailing?

We had a lovely incident in the midst of our art project. Whilst waiting for some of our painted pieces to dry, my son managed to empty half a litre of paint all over the playroom!!! Thank goodness it was washable paint! An afternoon bath to clean the boy, was also in order!

This project was quite involved and after “the incident” I was a little disheartened, as it took me the best part of an hour to clean everything up! I perservered and you know what… I absolutely LOVE our end product!! So let me give you the lowdown…

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp]

 

For a while now, I have been meaning to create a little jungle collage art and whilst trying to decide which artist to use as inspiration for the backyard art camp, I was thinking… okay… jungle… jungle…. oh… Rousseau, of course!! We could have gone to the library to take out a book, and I also recently discovered that “surprised” is on display at the national gallery… but no way am I dragging a 4 year old and a 2 year old on the train and on the tube and around London, on my own to see 1 painting! I vetoed the library book idea, as I wanted the images to be around when we were creating our art and considering what happened, I think it only would have been a recipe for disaster! So instead, I used a little search engine magic and found a website with images of all of Rousseau’s work.

I printed off about a dozen of his jungle works and sat down with the kiddies to talk about what we could see. I attempted to drop in a few facts. “These pictures are all by a guy called Henri Rousseau! You know, he never actually visited a jungle? Instead he looked at plants in the botanical gardens in Paris and in books”. Rousseau was a French post-impressionist painter. When Lily and I sat down to start the ‘drawing’ phase of the project, I asked her to look at the pictures and choose what bits were here favourite. She liked the tiger (Surprise!), the oranges (exotic landscape and apes in the orange grove), the moon (jungle with lion) and the flowers (exotic landscape with lion and hunters). So I hung a selection of these photos in our playroom, whilst we were working.

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp]

As we were using quite thick box cardboard for most of our pieces, I cut out all the shapes. The kids then had a great time painting them all with our eco washable paints.

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp] The tiger that Lily made, turned out really great and was on of my favourite things. I printed off a photo of a tiger and she used that to make her intial drawing onto cardboard. She also prepared the stripes by ripping some thick, black paper. I cut out her shape, which she painted (we mixed a little orange with yellow to make a more golden colour). We put double sided tape on the back of the stripes and lily stuck them in place. She used a black marker to go over some of the facial features.

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp] The flowers were made using painted cardboard leaves, brightly coloured tissue paper, which I had saved from some packaging, and the stalks were originally attached to the butterflies. I took the butterflies off of the sticks and hot glued them to some clothes pegs, so that we could fly them around the jungle installation and attach them to different plants and leaves. Some of the individual leaves  that we made, we attached to some ribbed card (again from packaging) and arranged them in the installation.

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp] The grass, also turned out really great. We ripped some green and yellow card that was from an old scrapbook and stuck it to box cardboard strips, which had 2 lines of double sided tape on. You can see how, Isaac, who I did a quick demo for, stuck all his grass vertically, where as Lily stuck hers horizontally!

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp] The only thing left to do was start building our installation using blu-tack to fix everything to the wall! We used a green scarf for the top of a tree and some brown paper (reused from old packaging) for the trunk. We stuck up all the foliage and Lily arranged the oranges, the tiger, and the moon (up above the tree!).

The Crafty Kitty | Mixed media, jungle, art installation. inspired by Henri Rousseau [backyard art camp]

 

The kiddies had lots of fun making their jungle art installation. They really wanted to play with it [which I assume would mean taking things of the wall, rearranging them, possibly ripping a few pieces, especially if you are 2!], but I wanted to make sure that Jon got to see it before it got trashed! Luckily it was near the end of the day, so we were able to go and have tea, whilst we waited for daddy to come home!!

It is strange how projects evolve…I originally I thought we would maybe make two, A3 collages, and then I thought maybe we would just make some cornstarch paint and tape off a large area of the rear wall of our house and the kids could paint a jungle scene. I probably would have got some better photos with the outdoor option; the area of our playroom that I chose, has really poor natural light as it is right next to our large bookcase!! It is usually the reading nook, but a certain 2 year old keeps taking the bookshelves off of the wall (we use the Ikea spice racks!) I finally settled on creating a large piece of art. We haven’t done one of these large scale pieces for a really long time, but there is something really fun and engaging about creating them!

Have you created any large scale pieces of art?

What do you do with your artwork, when it is complete? Do you make interactive art that can be played with? Or do you create artful play processes?

Backyard Art Camp

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Backyard Art Camp Contributors

Thank you to the lovely co-hosts of the series: Jane from Buzzmills and Melissa from A happy stitch!

13 thoughts on “Mixed media jungle: art installation [backyard art camp]

  1. July 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    This is so neat! The majority of our art is on a grand scale, but we mostly stick with playful processes for the time being (my twins are 2.5). A lot of it is not keepsake material, but I do try to use what I can for “Mommy Projects,” such as turning splatter painted butcher paper into bunting or lanterns, etc. I am so glad to be following along with your blog now, you have such amazing ideas!

    1. thecraftykitty
      July 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks Stephanie! I moved the installation to my daughter’s room, as my 2 year old was trashing it and Lily was getting upset, as she was really proud and pleased of the jungle. I have to say it looks freakin’ awesome in her room! I think it might stay for a while! We tend to keep photos of our artwork. The kiddies do seem to get more of a kick out of the process than the product! I love all the ideas on your blog too!

  2. August 2, 2013 at 2:44 am

    This is a really great project. I love the grand scale. We tend to go big outside with art created from natural objects like rocks, sticks, sea shells, seaweed, etc… but have not done that as much since moving to the desert.
    I really like this and could see creating pieces to install outside in the rock garden.
    Thanks for sharing.

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