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This week, we'll be painting and making marks with some of the items in our Explorer's boxes, as well as with found items in the woods, the park and in our own homes. We'll be experimenting and inventing our own brushes and inks, so let's get our explorer's caps on. Your newest art supplies might be hiding in plain sight!




What kind of mark does a brush make?  Or a twig?  What about a fork or a crumpled piece of paper?  Use your favorite paint color to experiment and make marks in your sketchbook. Make notes on which brushes make which marks. Which handmade brush makes your favorite marks?  Which makes the most surprising marks?  

You can use the twig that is included in your Explorer's Box to start experimenting with natural brushes.  Junior Explorers can share paint with their older siblings, or add water to their Kitpas crayons to use them as paints.



Did you know that the charcoal in your Explorer's box used to be a willow twig?  Or that the powdered pigment in your paints used to be clay soil or rocks?  Check out the videos below if you want to see how.

We won't be making charcoal or our own pigments this week but we WILL be exploring natural inks that you can make yourself.  You can make ink out of almost anything that is liquid and is a color. The painting below is made from ink that we made from coffee, beets, spirulina and turmeric powder. 


Can you think of anything in your home or outdoors that would make a good ink? Kitchens are a great place to start, take a look in your refrigerator or cabinets.  Try them out in your sketchbook (with help from your parents!) 


Which homemade ink is your favorite?  Which is the most surprising?  Which didn't work out as planned?  Make notes and we'll share what we've discovered on Wednesday.



During Friday's check-in session, we replaced three items in each camper's Case of Curiosities.  Campers can continue to replace items as they would like, to make a completely new collection each week or create their own evolving theme for their Cases.  


Campers are encouraged to document and sketch Find Four items each week (fauna, flora, fungi and a free item).  If any campers would like to share their work, please email us photos to post and share on social media and on the camp website.



A Fox's Tail is Called a Brush

Emily Pettit 

There is the room I will pretend does not exist,
for now. For now that room does not exist.
Really remember colors reflected in pools of water.
The marshaling of evidence. Cats of what colors.
A spectrum. Color to describe the cat that is down.
That cat that is to the side. With one eye. What is
scratch made up of? A florescent rhibisom is working
on figuring it out. Figuring it out in a mouse's mind.
I break up all the leaves into bits. I am hard at summer.
Let the music loud! I can have a color in my mind
and I cannot make it. How do you make a mirror?
I want you to understand. Do you understand me?
I understand. They understand. You understand.
I hope your summer is being a good summer.
Grasses and radios. Get archaic. A hunter looking
for a streaming blue. You were in the weather.
You idea. A not new idea. A room. I got home
and my door was blue. It was a fox and a picture
of you

By Myself 

Eloise Greenfield

When I’m by myself
And I close my eyes
I’m a twin
I’m a dimple in a chin
I’m a room full of toys
I’m a squeaky noise
I’m a gospel song
I’m a gong
I’m a leaf turning red
I’m a loaf of brown bread
I’m a whatever I want to be
An anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
Is me

Romance Sonámbulo (Sleepwalker's Ballad)


Federico García Lorca 

(excerpt, stanza two) 


Green, how I love you green. 

Great glittering stars of frost 

come with the fish of shadows 

that open the road to dawn. 

The fig tree rubs the wind 

with the sandpaper of its branches, 

and the mountain, thieving cat, 

bristles its sour agaves. 

But who will arrive? And from where? . . . 

She follows along her balcony railing, 

green skin, green hair, 

dreaming in the bitter sea.


(Translated by Karen Lewis)


For Outside IN, we are reading WildwoodPablo & Birdy, Zoe in Wonderland and Pilu of the Woods.  Readers are invited to read at their own pace. For voracious readers, order more Outside IN books directly from Split Rock Books.

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