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Problem-solving through printmaking

‘I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it’ Pablo Picasso



Some more of my favourite images from our 3-week exploration of printmaking during Autumn Adventures in Art at Riverbend Books.

On our third week, students refined their block printing to explore pattern repeat and ultimately produce a tote bag design (our youngest student’s tote seen above!).

We loved seeing the resolution that came about through experiments on paper – the quality of print, the effectiveness of repeat, the importance of planning the design well before executing. It is natural for children to jump in and create and think later – I love that there is no fear or hesitation in this method of ‘bringing something forth’.  However, in order to refine a skill and therefore practice better outcomes, it is useful for students to journey through the process in order to test out several possible options before deciding on the most effective design.

For some of the youngest students, we found that the final design was just another ‘experiment’ and that is perfectly age appropriate. For others though, the confidence built through ‘trial and error and play’ helped them to be more satisfied with the end result!

The student’s folio’s are full to overflowing with wonderful experiments [ seen drying here ]. These pages represent my favourite part of the creative process – The time to play with new techniques! Seeing what colour’s work with others, what textures and shapes produce the most pleasing designs….

We are firm believers at WEAVE+WONDER that the journey through experimentation is far more valuable than the outcome. Innovative leaders practice and work at their craft, and we have loved sharing time with your children as they build these muscles for their future through art!





The persuasive power of Picasso

‘All children are artists, the problem is to remain an artist once he grows up’ Pablo Picasso



I’ve loved every minute of our Autumn Adventures in Art!

Printmaking is one of my favourite techniques to explore with children because there are so many imperfections in it! Whether etching, mono printing or block printing, the resulting image has a ‘hazy, soft, textural’ quality to it that allow’s much grace as children are learning. I had an inward chuckle when one or two of my students decided that the partial transfer of colour wasn’t ‘perfect’ enough and began painting over their print – filling in the ‘texture’ with ‘solid colour’! I love a child’s freedom and instinct to express their creativity in unique ways.

There was much room throughout our 3-week exploration to learn, practice, correct, print again and layer colour and detail over to build up each artwork.



[Picasso’s graphic and lithograph works]

Students were particularly pleased to see examples of Picasso’s early print work and lithograph’s, made famous in some of the earliest forms of advertising, and realise that his images and technique were simple and imperfect too!




Our practice is to draw, inspired by the reading of some wonderful literature and then transfer those sketch ideas from imagination into artwork! These autumn-inspired works were wonderful examples of creative problem-solving – particularly when it came to etching lettering to print the right way!



More examples of print work and the remainder of our series to follow!


create-a-weekend :: gather and draw



Oh! Children are hunter’s and gatherers at heart aren’t they?

Through gentle encouragement (enthusiastically responding to their shell collection on beach holiday’s!) over time, my children have adopted somewhat of a ‘foraging’ habit.


Typical walks + wander’s almost always result in handful’s of ‘treasure’:

pine cones, driftwood, shells, leaves, feathers, seeds

Some treasure we keep + display in jars and on shelves, others we try to remember to ‘draw and discard’

The radiance of Autumn always makes me feel as if anything is possible: warm sun, brilliant bright sky, tumbling cascade of fiery red and yellow leaves, burnishing browns…..and so I look forward to weekend ‘foraging’ adventures with my children.

Choose to wander along with me this weekend won’t you? Perhaps this little reminder will provide some creative inspiration for your family this Autumn Weekend!

It doesn’t have to be anywhere particularly special for children to sharpen their ‘noticing eyes’ – like me, I’m sure you are aware how much is treasure in the eyes of children!! Just getting outside in the fresh air, at the local park is the perfect environment for gathering!

If you come home with handfuls of miscellaneous ‘bits and pieces’ can I suggest making a collection in the centre of the table, grabbing out:



watercolour paints


Take an hour out to rest together and draw + paint what you have found.

There is no right or wrong in this exercise and children + adults alike will more often than not, dislike their first efforts at replicating.

I must encourage you to persevere! Training the eye to see and replicate shapes, shadows, colours and textures can all be learned through practice. And one of the most natural and safest environments for this practice to happen, be nurtured and encouraged, is in your own home: together.

Through this very simple habit, children will learn to notice more in the environment around them and will ‘play’ with creative possibilities – new solutions to the one problem. The outcomes are unique and rewarding for the whole family!

Happy Weekending x


art classes :: week 1 Autumn Adventures in Art


Today a few lovely pics from our first ‘Autumn Adventures in Art’ series hosted by Riverbend books!

Our exciting Brisbane-based art classes are focused on great books and nurturing creative thinking.


Saturday afternoons are looking to be creatively magical with a wonderful + enthusiastic group of young artists.


This week our theme was NOTICING and as we began our introduction to printmaking inspired by a bunch of equally ‘wild’ and imaginative books, students played with printing texture and layers, background and foreground, ghost prints and more!


Students took home a gorgeous ‘mothers day’ print of their favourite autumn leaf adjacent our custom quote and we gathered all their experimental printmaking into their folio’s for collation over the 6 week series!

Next week’s theme is IMAGINATION: the ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton and ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jeffers will project us into our experiments with mono printing and etching. Can’t wait!

nurturing creativity :: autumn gathering

autumn gathering

She’s almost here, this autumn season of ours, her smouldering colours preparing for their blazing show.  This week we’ve been observant, looking, looking wherever we are for trees of autumn colour, gathering for today’s first Autumn Adventures in Art workshop.  She’s a little shy, our Brisbane autumn, and not nearly as showy as her cooler friends, but still there are bursts of colour to be found when you go looking.

autumn adventures in art wk 1

And this is a simple and stunning way to display your autumn finds.  In the coming weeks be on the lookout for trees of autumn colour and trees with leaf shapes you like.  Gather your leaves and carefully press them flat between the pages of a thick book.  Or use a thin book, and pile some other books on top.  Let them dry for a few weeks and then display in this beautiful way.  We took a sheet of recycled cardboard and used some craft glue to attach the leaves.

So grab a basket, hold a little hand or two, and head outside along your street or to your local parks for some lovely Autumn gathering.

mid week creative :: Autumn inspiration

autumn inspiration ginkgo

Autumn is a season which inspires me to gather – maybe it’s a sweet nod to those animals which are preparing to bunker down over the winter. I’ve always loved the idea of hibernating animals, busy gathering then curling snug and warm. In our lovely sub-tropical Brisbane hibernating is not really necessary, although I am quietly glad our local snakes slither away somewhere dark and quiet during our cooler days.

But now is the perfect time for foraging and gathering, as leaves light bright fiery yellows, oranges and reds before quietly laying on the ground to rest.

Autumn inspiration is all around us.  It’s a season of colour and texture, shape and form, so grab a basket and get out there exploring, gathering twigs and branches, leaves and seeds, to spark and ignite some Autumn creativity.

And our best buddies when it comes to seasonal displays of nature and creativity around our homes? Roly-poly washi tape and sticky blu-tac. So, lovely friends, go gather, and stick some Autumn loveliness to your walls!