Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Time to Paint the Okra

Well, my little Missy Bugg  never fails to entertain.  Bean and I seem to share perspective on a lot of things. Bugg always has a different one, and keeps me on my toes, makes me shake my head sometimes, and often has me laughing right out loud (or in the scenario to follow, suppressing it with all my being).

 She loves, loves, loves to play games and if she is here for five minutes or overnight, her first order of business, after candy, is trying to get someone (usually me) up for a game. I have many and she isn't picky.  I have never lasted as long at game playing as she does.  I've learned to tell her at the beginning how many games I'm willing to play, or the asking never ceases.  I'm usually up for three or four.  So, after a couple of games, I told her we needed to pick some more flowers for our Tuesday visits to Aunt Lois and my Mom.
She loves picking flowers almost as much as games.
Off to the garden we go.  As we ooh and ahh and pluck, I talk about the colors, and she talks about the colors and picks her favorites.  We notice all the bumble bees cavorting on the seed heads. I send her over to the pink zinnias, as she is a very pink kind of girl and I hear her swoon, "Oh, it's a beautiful butterfly drinking the pollup."  The child seldom forgets anything, but she is the queen of  making the last syllable her own.
She wanted the seed head of a sunflower that had lost all it's petals.  I commented then that maybe when we went in the house, we could get out the watercolors and try to capture some of the beautiful colors and paint them.  She was all for that.
By then our bucket was full, but I noticed the okra really needed cutting.
 I hate okra, but I've always planted it, first to take to my Daddy who loved it, and then, for the memory.  Now, I take it to his sister.  She snipped a pod with her "tweezers," and I commented that it was a pretty green color (I'll give it credit for something), and maybe we should paint it as well, and she agreed.
By now we're hot and attracting tiny garden beasties (mosquitoes), so off we head to the house.  I sit our buckets and okra center stage on the table and we gather up our supplies.  Note- I have nearly every color of paintbrush, but for this art lesson, only the pink ones would do.
I choose the tithonia (Mexican Torch Flower) to paint, as that velvety touch and brilliant orange captivates my attention.  She doesn't say what she is going to paint, but she is so intent on mixing colors, that I sigh and smile and am again grateful for these moments of watching her so engaged. My eye returns to my own water coloring and when I look back-  ahhh, she's painting the okra!

It took all of my will power not to chuckle.  She has already figured out that the pale watercolors just weren't working and she kept going darker and darker and darker.  I didn't have the heart to interfere, but I did finally say that watercolors weren't as thick as other paints and didn't make quite the same impact on colored objects as they did on paper.
I decided I'd try and different tact, so I started painting the okra, er, painting an image of okra.  She commented, "Oh, your painting this."
She painted awhile and sat it aside and I asked, "Would you like some paper?"  "No, I'm going to paint my sunflower now."  And she did.

This very experience is so why children need some space and time to do things their own way and come up with their own answers.  After painting her okra and sunflower, she was ready to try some paper.
I've enjoyed this watercolor experience for myself as well.  As I said before, I'm inept at best with a paintbrush, but I'm taking this class.  As you can see, it hasn't taught us anything about using paints as yet, but is encouraging us to fool around with different colors, mixed medias,  and ideas.  So, I'm trying here to capture something and failing.

She decides to paint an orange flower as well, and this is her rendition.  Complete with the sun and one of those fat bumble bees.  I absolutely love this little masterpiece and it will either go in my sketch book or I will frame it.  I'm thinking I need to take lessons from Missy Bugg.


  1. I'm so glad I went back and enlarged the images! I knew she was painting her sunflower but didn't really realize she was "painting the okra"!! Why not! Your flowers are nice but her painting is wonderful! Love the bumble bee!

    1. Agreed. I too loved the bumble bee addition

  2. I will fight you for that painting! ;-)

    oh miss bugg. I'm glad you guys had a good visit.

    1. Possession is nine tenths of the law and you got a rose remember?

  3. I like both of your paintings. I love stories like this. My older granddaughter, Jill, and I like so many of the same things, but little Mia has a different take on life that surprises us all sometimes. I am watching your artistic journey with interest. I got the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron at the library. Are you familiar with it? Love, Shari

    1. I don't know that book. I'll check it out. Thanks!