| |

storytelling through painting

Share Wildflower Ramblings!

A couple of days ago, my husband was flipping through channels, trying desperately to find a football game {we don’t have cable}, and we came upon the PBS station.  Just a man with his easel and paint and brushes.  He was painting a boat in a lightning storm.  And we all just stopped and watched for about ten minutes.  Truly, watching an artist paint is fascinating — it produces, in me anyway, creativity — and jealousy, too.  Oh I wish I could paint like an artist.


“I want to paint a boat!” Says John.  What, my boy is asking to paint!?  Of course, my love, let’s stop everything and get it out.  I couldn’t get it together fast enough.  He was so excited, and me, I didn’t want him to lose interest, so I quickly laid our mat on the table, out out some beautiful art paper, put their paint out on trays, just like the artist on television, and let them each have several brushes.


John went right to work.  And with his paint strokes, he created a masterpiece.  A storytelling masterpiece.  He ferociously painted and was yelling the words as he painted.  After sitting and just watching and listening, I realized that I must, I MUST, write some of his story down.  This is what I captured….


These are the waves come crashing down.

The waves are here.

They are making the ship so so hard to sail that the ship stopped and the motor broke.

And the sail broke off and flew away.

Then it sunk and the boat was no where in sight.

The passengers put on their scuba gear and they were rescued.

Captain John pulled the boat out of the water.

That was a horrible horrible storm.


Oh my boy.  So full of imagination and wonder.  His boat sunk at least a dozen times, but then the passengers had scuba gear and Captain John rescued them before the next wave rocked the ship and threatened their lives once again.  His creativity is striking and poignant, and oh so direct.  He was certain that this happened.  This shipwreck was a chaotic, yet excited time for all involved.

DSC07233 DSC07239 DSC07240

He wrote his story for over an hour.

Across the table, his sister repeated many of his words, she made some beautiful pieces.  But for her, she’d exclaim, “done!” each time she felt that her work was done.  Her strokes are smaller, more defined.  More careful to produce a picture to her satisfaction.

DSC07227DSC07230 DSC07246

As for me, I joined the fun.  About a year ago, I tried to take up painting.  I tried painting a field with a house, and then a field of flowers.  I put my easel out in our grass and painted, while May was still a sitting baby.  I never became a strong painter.  But I did feel a creative outlet and confidence and satisfaction with finishing a painting that is now in my baby girl’s room….  So I painted a storm with a ship.  I joined in and tried to put some of the artist’s tips to good use {embarrassingly so}.

DSC07241 DSC07242 DSC07243 DSC07245

A beautiful, spontaneous time.  Allowing my child to take the lead, and jumping at the opportunity, by giving him the tools necessary to complete his vision.  We hung our paintings up in the living room, and John walks by them,

“Remember, mom, when the ship went down in the storm, that was so cool!”

More Reggio-inspired art:

What is art?

Rethinking arts and crafts

canvas art with kids


And check out our Reggio Inspired Pinterest Board:

Follow Amy – Wildflower Ramblings’s board Reggio-Inspired Learning on Pinterest.


Or our Art for Kids Pinterest Board:

Follow Amy – Wildflower Ramblings’s board Art for Kids on Pinterest.

Pin it!!

storytelling through painting: reggio art and writing - wildflower ramblings

Share Wildflower Ramblings!

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you for sharing such a lovely and inspiring story. I love it when adults stand back, intervening as little as possible, and let the kids learn on their own. You’ve captured the magic of the moment in your writing and photos. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *