I have been admiring the autumn landscape around here as trees deepen their colors and begin to bare their branches. As if this wasn't colorful enough, I have started an online art course that is all about noticing the beauty in your life and expressing it intuitively. I very rarely enter giveaways, but I felt drawn to enter for a free spot in the Bloom True e-course with Flora Bowley. Out of almost a hundred entries, three were chosen based on the written entries. I was one of the lucky ones!!!
This is what I wrote about our unschooling life and why I wanted to participate in the course:
What a generous giveaway. I spend my days home-schooling (unschooling) my three daughters, age 11, 7, and 4. I don't consider myself to be their 'teacher', but I provide them with opportunities and resources and engage with them in our community, to learn by following their curiosity and creativity. One day might find us canning tomatoes together, and the next building an am radio from scratch, or visiting a llama farm with friends. I grow a garden, am working on finishing our home along with my husband (building walls, installing flooring, etc.), take pictures, knit, and blog when I find the time. As my children grow, I would like to make more time for creating expressive art, by and for myself. This motherhood gig can be a bit all-consuming. I think this course could help nudge me out of my comfort zone and into pursuing this sooner rather than later (but it's unfortunately wildly out of my budget). Also, we live way out in the country, so finding an in-person community of supportive artists is out of reach for me right now. Not only do I think this course would be great for me as a person, but I think it would set a fabulous example for my daughters. I live in Wisconsin, U.S.A., surrounded by organic land, solar panels, chickens, ducks, geese, and a dog, along with my supportive husband and our lively kiddos. I am a joy-seeker, peaceful-parenting, respectfully-living this beautiful, messy, thoughtful, challenging life, filled with gratitude. That's my story. Thanks for considering it.
I would like to share some of the exercises and creations that are coming out of the process as this course continues, and how my kids are jumping in with what interests them (because of course they are).
Did you ever watch Bob Ross paint on PBS back in the 80s? I did. I found a PBS remix of some of his sayings and paintings.
Camille listened to this several times and used it as inspiration for some of her own elaborately decorated affirmations.
You can do it endless possibilities
While on the trail, I decided to follow one of the Bloom True photo prompts and take a "self-love" self portrait.
I get weirded out by selfies, so Sylvia also took one for me up on the bluff.
more views from the top of the bluff
on the trail
I am so utterly grateful for my three daughters and their Papa. They are some of my favorite-est people in the world.
Another optional exercise was to create an intuitive mandala, either by drawing or with objects in our environment. Ayla and I had a lot of fun making October's Garden Mandala.
I also doodled a mandala by starting in the middle and adding lines and shapes outward.
Camille asked is she could color it in.
Sylvia and I co-created a dino-inspired mandala for fun.
drooping garden sunflowers
Sylvia wanted another mandala for painting with "hearts, flowers, and butterflies".
Camille created her own mandala as well.
The Bloom True course is primarily about painting, but I wasn't set up with my supplies until the second week, so I incorporated what I could while helping the girls learn, explore, and create too.