Turn nature into art with these amazing Andy Goldsworthy Art Projects for Kids! Get inspired to go out, pick up something & turn it into something beautiful!
“My art is an attempt to reach beyond the surface appearance. I want to see growth in wood, time in stone, nature in a city” ~ Andy Goldsworthy
We’ve seen and heard of artists who draw inspiration from nature. They are inspired by their surroundings, or a place they’ve visited, or a memory from childhood. They then create art based on the natural settings of those places. However, what if I told you that there is an artist who isn’t just inspired from nature, his art is nature itself?
What you see in this picture is an example of the work of the artist I mentioned – Andy Goldsworthy – a British artist who creates art in and with nature. Look at this work, called ‘Rowan leaves laid around hole’. He’s created with leaves he found lying in nature – no paint, no artificial colors or materials. 100% purely natural!
That’s Andy Goldsworthy for you, a man who spend his childhood summers at a farm. He thoroughly enjoyed his farm days, and found solace in the repetitive tasks. He preferred working with his hands instead of machines, building haystacks, ploughing fields and picking potatoes.
Andy was interested in art in a young age and joined art school, but found the tiny studios suffocating. He was built for the outdoors, and that was his source of inspiration as well as of materials to create with. Andy Goldsworthy’s art uses leaves, flowers, pine cones, mud, stones, twigs, mud, snow – pretty much anything that is found in nature!
Goldsworthy considers his art as a collaborative work with nature, and we think it’s a lovely idea to pass on to kids. Andy Goldsworthy’s work is a wonderful lesson in finding beauty in nature, appreciating the natural processes and cycles as well as appreciating the idea that art has many interpretations besides throwing paint on paper. To drive home these points, we’ve got today 10 amazing Andy Goldsworthy art projects for kids to try, right in time for the artist’s birthday on 26th July!
10 Amazing Andy Goldsworthy Art Projects for Kids
If you’re confused about where to start with creating art in nature, try out this easy project from Messy Little Monster. There is a free printable available for download which will help create a starting point. This is a great way for kids to learn about different types of leaves and think about how to arrange them in a way that looks best.
Andy Goldsworthy respected the natural cycles of nature, and often went to great lengths to create art with seasonal elements. He believed that there was a particular charm about creating with something that was only available in the moment and would disappear with the season. This art from The Art of Education goes with the same concept, using Fall elements like yellow leaves and pine cones.
Decay and death is an inevitable part of nature’s cycles, and Goldsworthy liked to bring this idea into his art. Studying nature so closely showed him how fleeting some things are, and why that makes somethings so precious. Let kids appreciate the depth of this observation by creating art with a few things they find in Nature. Create Art with Me has some ideas for inspiration.
The best part about Andy Goldsworthy Art Projects for Kids is that they cost nothing at all! All you need is the great outdoors and your imagination, and you’re all set. Whether you live near a farm, a beach or in a city, you’re sure to find some gifts of nature that you can use to create art, like this one from Art Project Girl.
One of Andy Goldsworthy’s famous works of art is the Red Leaf Patch, which uses leaves of different colors which have been arranged in a way that they appear to be on different planes. This project from Red Ted Art seems to be inspired by that, and you can create your own pattern using the leaves you find.
Since Andy Goldsworthy worked with materials like leaves and flowers which would decay eventually, it was important for him to preserve his art through photographs. Goldsworthy is also a talented photographer, and has an impressive collection of photos of his art. Encourage kids to create their art and take pictures too, like these beautiful ones from Carle Museum.
There is an impressive number of lessons that we can learn from these Andy Goldsworthy Art Projects for Kids, and one of them is patience. We’ve heard about how gardening also requires patience, waiting for the plant to grow in its own sweet time. It’s similar with Goldsworthy’s art; he’s talked about how he had to wait for temperatures to fall below a certain level before he could create sculptures out of ice. To learn more lessons about Goldsworthy’s art, go over to the Ipad Art Room.
Goldsworthy worked with delicate materials like petals and leaves as well as with hardier materials like rocks. He preferred using just his bare hands for the most parts, opting for machine tools only when absolutely necessary. Check out Hower’s Art Class to see how you can create your own nature sculpture – without requiring heavy duty equipment!
As Andy Goldsworthy’s art became more popular, he began to get commissioned projects. One such work was ‘Drawn Stone’, a huge installation with a massive crack, reflecting the several earthquakes in San Francisco. If you’d like to try something on a smaller scale, check out this simple rock art work from Simple Things Notebook.
Goldsworthy’s art reflected his personal life too. When he lost his wife and mother in quick succession, he created art that echoed ideas of emptiness and death. A lot of his works contain a black hole in the center, and he has mentioned that it is something that has always intrigued him. Circles are a common feature in his work too, and in this lovely work of art from Hannah’s Art Club.
When you go through some of these Andy Goldsworthy Art Projects for Kids as well as some of the original works, you’ll find that some of the art seem very similar to floral rangolis, or pookkalams made for the Kerala harvest festival, Onam. If you enjoyed these projects, you’ll also like our stick and leaf butterfly craft, as well as this DIY nature-inspired percussion instrument. Let’s go make friends with nature!