I spent a lovely morning facilitating a lino printing workshop at Wynnum Manly Community Garden with local children in the school holidays. It was a beautiful crisp, clear and sunny Brisbane winter morning. We talked together about the structure of plants – fruit and leaves – how generous nature is when we counted how many seeds and potential plants and trees resided in each tomato and lemon we cut up; the veins of leaves and their purpose; and how humans and plants breathe in and out in tandem with each other. We wandered around the garden looking at interesting flowers, fruit and vegies and leaves that would make interesting designs on our lino blocks.  Playing around with lines and shapes with willow charcoal was fun, and we chose the ones that we liked best to transfer to the lino. The wind picked up as the morning moved on which was a challenge to all of us as we tried to tame our paper while inking up the lino printing blocks.  A few of the adults present commented on the patience and perseverance of the children as they worked diligently on their artworks from the first choosing of something out of the garden to the final print drying in the sun three hours later. One little girl who was only four, helped others out and waited patiently as the last printer in line, until it came to her turn to print a really lovely detailed image. I am always surprised and delighted by what young children can achieve in these workshops, that often adults find quite a challenge. Do we sometimes underestimate the genius of childhood?

this lovely image was of a beetroot and its leaves cut in half

this lovely image was of a beetroot and its leaves cut in half

plenty of research material here

plenty of research material here

we talked about how drawing is a skill in noticing detail

we talked about how drawing is a skill in noticing detail

I read recently that we humans have been making art for longer than we've been doing agriculture

I read recently that we humans have been making art for longer than we’ve been doing agriculture