Art of the Wild
Many of us have seen drawings or paintings of nature, like landscape paintings, but some artists are so inspired by nature that they use things like rocks, leaves, and much more to make their art instead of paints or pencils. Some even create "earthworks" that involve shaping the land itself into new forms! Today, you'll burrow into art in nature and create your own art inspired by the outdoors.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Natural materials like leaves, sticks, flowers, dried beans, etc.
Ask About Today
What is one thing in nature that inspired you to create a piece of art with it? Why did it catch your eye?
What is your favorite outdoor activity? What kind of Land Art can we make as a family on our next family nature outing?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Part of making art about nature is exploring it. Let's spend some time learning about and getting inspired by the natural beauty around us.
National Parks, Natural Inspiration
Get a virtual look at five visually stunning National Parks in the United States, from Alaska to Florida. Notice how different each landscape is in color and texture. Which is your favorite?
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
A Different Kind of Watercolor
Fascinated by the water? Take a deep breath and go on a virtual dive with these four videos, then check out the photos of eight different National Marine Sanctuaries. If you were to create a piece of art inspired by one of these sanctuaries, which would it be and why?
Check out these six awesome environmental artists who are still alive and working today! Some of them create artwork that looks like something from another world. Have you ever seen art like this before? Is that what you imagine when you think of art? Why or why not?
Andy Goldsworthy in Focus
Learn more about Andy Goldsworthy, a famous environmental artist who uses stone, leaves, wood, and even ice in his work. He's also our inspiration for today's Create activity! Watch him at work in this video.
Get ready to get your hands dirty. Today we're making some natural found-object art of our own.
Make Your Own Natural Artwork
Start by finding five or more types of natural materials from your backyard, along your street, or even in your kitchen. You can use leaves, flowers, grass, dirt, food like beans or fruits, sticks, rocks and more. The possibilities are endless, and you can use the same material more than once to create a design that uses repetition—so be sure to collect enough.
Once you have your materials, organize them into a unique and interesting design. Many artists like to use a circular shape so that the viewer’s eye easily travels around the whole piece of art, but what yours looks like is totally up to you.You don't have to glue your design down or even put it on an actual piece of paper—arrange it where you like and take a photo to capture your work, like Andy Goldsworthy does!
Share your work! We'd love to see it. Ask a parent to email a photo to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.
Exploring Land Art
There any many ways to create art with nature. One famous art movement was called Land Art. Check out this article from Super Simple to see how they made art inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, too!
For younger explorers
I Spy... Something Natural
Have you ever played I Spy? It's fun and easy to play, but it also helps you notice things in the natural world around you. Partner up with a sibling, friend, neighbor, or parent and describe something you see around you until your partner can guess it. In this nature themed version of I Spy, make sure you are selecting a natural material or object to describe. Each time you describe your object, start your sentence with “I spy with my little eye, something that is _____.” You can describe your object using descriptive words such as colors, shapes, textures, sizes, and so on. Think about your five senses when describing. Take turns with your partner describing new objects!
Wonders of Google Earth
In this interactive quiz from Google Earth, you'll explore some exotic places and unbelievable natural wonders, and even learn a few fun facts along the way.
For younger explorers
Save the Art!
Head over to the Tate Modern to play the online game Art Parts! In this game, you will use your creative mind to help the robots save the art!
Take an Inspiration Walk
What inspires you in nature? With permission from a parent, take a walk outside and identify at least 10 things you see that inspire you. Try to find 10 natural elements or materials like plants, clouds, puddles, or rocks to name a few! Think about why they inspire you. Is it the shape? Do they remind you of something else or make you feel a certain emotion? Can you make another piece of art inspired by what you found? Consider making a drawing, creating a piece of land art, or even taking a photo of whatever inspired you most. Talk with a family member or friend about the item you found most inspiring and why.
more to explore
When Nature Looks Like Art
Tulip fields, farmlands, ice floes—from high above, their colors and shapes can often make them seem less like landscapes and more like art. See for yourself in these birds-eye view photos.
Nature art doesn't always involve trees, rocks, or leaves. Some artists get inspired by other natural forces and features, like viruses, volcanoes, or sound waves. Take a look at some of their creations in this story from the Art of Education University.
You'll need to keep your eyes wide open for more than art in these Mass Audubon nature bingo cards. See if you can find the items on some (or all) of them!