Author: Sarah Clowe, Director of Art Programs

Materials: Nature items like pinecones, dried leaves or stones, plus any variety of paint you have on hand or other coloring media like markers


Take inspiration from artist, Ruby Silvious and use nature as your canvas! Use any paint or markers you have on hand and add color to natural items like pinecones, leaves or stones!

Artists of all ages, the very young and old are encouraged to be playful in creating art and design on natural objects.  Decorating natural items can be a calming low pressure activity to escape some of your daily stress.

Once you've finished your painted pinecones or other nature art feel free to email a picture of it to me at and I'll feature them in a Museum Makers gallery!

Take a look outside for objects to paint

What interesting natural objects can you find?

On our family walks pinecones are a favorite item to hunt for and collect.  What natural objects can you find outside near your home?  At the time this blog project is being written the museum is currently showcasing the works of artist, Ruby Silvious in the show, Recycled & Refashioned: The Art of Ruby Silvious. We are fortunate to have the exhibition extended until the end of August 2020 to make up for some of the lost exhibition time due to the current museum closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Ruby Silvious expresses her artistic vision on unusual canvases, some of which include acorns, rocks, and dried leaves.  Here are a couple of examples of her paintings on nature from the exhbition.  If you're concerned about capturing detail on a small unsual painting surface try out painting patterns like Ruby's dots on her acorns!

'Bash the Stash'

Add color!

One of the great phrases that came up while talking with artist Ruby Silvious when her exhibition first was installed was "bash the stash" referring to using up the stash of art supplies one already has on hand.  This is a great moment in time to embrace that idea while we are still being encouraged to stay safe at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
Without heading to a store to purchase more take a look around to see what art materials you already have on hand.  My two year old and I both painted pinecones and while she painted with washable tempera paint I decided to use up a mystery small set of paint from an unknown old craft kit.  Don't have paint on hand?  If you have food coloring you can add drops to water for homemade liquid watercolor paint or if not break out some markers to add color.

Exhibition Connection: Recycled & Refashioned: The Art of Ruby Silvious

JANUARY 25 — AUGUST 30, 2020





Published May 28, 2020