Discovering Nature Through Art

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Rosemary and Bob Connelly, through the Mispillion Art League (MAL), held a week-long summer camp for teens encouraging the use of watercoloring, photography and writing. The purpose of the camp was to not only teach the children about the art of watercoloring and photography but to allow them to discover their surroundings through the observation of art.

On Tuesday and Wednesday Rosemary, Bob and the children visited Abbot’s Mill Nature Centre to observe and record the sights, sounds and feeling of the natural setting. As with Rosemary’s adult courses on watercolor journaling, she taught the kids the ability to relax, experience and enjoy their surroundings. Through the artistic mediums of watercoloring, writing and photography the children recorded their experiences at camp.

“We are teaching them drawing and photography skills so that they can have a real connection with their surroundings,” commented Rosemary. “When we take them out to experience nature we ask them to close their eyes and ask them to focus on the sensations they feel.”

During their stay at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, Rosemary and Bob took the kids on walking trails and encouraged them to investigate nature for themselves. Collecting drawings and photographs of flora and fauna throughout the day, the children were taught about the many different colors on the color wheel that nature encompasses.

Throughout the week the kids kept a nature watercolor journal which included their painting, photographs and writings. The writings described not only what they saw on the trails but also what they felt.

“I really like watercolor journaling because it feels really natural and you can get an impression of nature as a whole,” commented 15 year old camper Rachael Scott of Harrington. “It is a loose medium so it is easy to get the hang of. My favorite part was going to Abbott’s Mill. I liked being able to go out in nature instead of just looking at photos.”

On Thursday the children shared their journals with their parents at the Mispillion Art League building downtown. The presentations allowed parents to experience what their children had been doing all week.

“We really enjoyed this experience so much,” stated Rosemary. “It has been a lot of fun. We teach them to not just look at the world around them but to experience it in their own way and share it.”

Both Rosemary and Bob Connelly are members of the Mispillion Art League and teach several adult and children’s classes in watercoloring and photography. For more information on classes offered at the Art League call 302-430-7646 or visit www.mispillionarts.org.