RECOMMENDED AGE LEVEL
Great for all ages!
What better time than the New Year to get outside and connect with nature? With January being Zero Waste Month, these project prompts encourage you to create art through the process of gathering and arranging materials– without utilizing any additional tools or supplies. This practice is included in the concepts of Land Art and Environmental Art.
Read our suggestions for creative ways to interact with the outdoors or come up with some ideas of your own! Our examples here are fairly small scale, how BIG can you go with your own work?
Collect as many leaves as you can, then begin placing them in various configurations.
- What does it look like if you only use the same kind of leaf?
- What if you collect a variety of types?
- Can you play with different shades of found leaves, like Andy Goldsworthy?
Do you have access to a beach, or even a sandbox? Use a rake or long stick to draw patterns in the sand! You could also use your foot prints to create impressions.
- Local artists Ian Ross and Andres Amador have been known to transform SF’s Ocean Beach.
- This prompt also works if you are in a snowy climate!
Without destroying anyone’s flower garden, collect some petals that can be used for making a colorful arrangement!
- Our example here uses fallen rose petals and clovers that have just sprouted during the latest rain.
Gather as many pencil-width sticks as you can find. Poke them into soft earth or sand, placing them side by side so they begin to form a sort of mini fence. • \
- Will your configuration be a straight line, or wavy? Do you have enough sticks to surround a tree trunk or a large rock?
- Can you find long vines or willow boughs? Try twisting and creating sweeping forms like Patrick Dougherty.
Search the ground around your neighborhood to see if you can find any fallen tree bits. Once you collect enough, lay them down in a circle and continue stacking until they form a ring!
- Other shape ideas include: lines, curves, waves, and spirals.
If you are really up for a challenge, try doing your best James Brunt impersonation and stack some rocks, stones, concrete chunks, or any other heavy, small objects you can find.
- Begin by collecting rocks and stones and organizing them by size and weight. Place your heaviest stones on the bottom of both sides.
- Continue piling smaller rocks until the two piles start leaning– push and hold them together as needed.
- To end, place the rock in between the two piles (a keystone) and watch your arch stand!
- Artist and author Richard Shilling talks about Land Art for Kids.
- Opposite day: Instead of collecting natural materials, artist Gabriel Orozco collects bits of litter and trash, then artfully arranges them for the ultimate in zero-waste creativity!