And impressionism was born!


I just came across an interesting article for kids. Do you know when an Impressionist movement started?  Now, you can find out precisely when: a Texas physicist has figured out down to the the exact minute when the Impressionism art movement was born. By his calculations, it began Nov. 13, 1872, right around 7:35 a.m. local time!

Read the article here and share it with the kids. It’s a fun way to connect the common core and art once again!

Fore more art projects about Impressionists and Claude Monet, look up the May issue of arTree (5/2014).

Claude Monet and his Garden


With this month’s issue of arTree magazine you can visit Claude Monet’s garden and create a painting of his famous Japanese bridge or a giant water-lily to hang on your wall!


What is Impressionism?

Show kids several of Monet’s paintings and ask them to describe what they see. Are there any lines? Black? Are the paintings from inside/outside? What is the most important element used? Why do they think he painted the same scene over and over again?


Then invite them to visit his garden in Giverny, France:


Explain that he spent over 20 years designing, working and painting his garden and that he poured most of his money into it. Show the kids some photos from the garden and then take their focus to the bridge or the water lilies:


Huge water lily pads: K-2
This is the link to the presentation:
Printable labels:

For the K (and 1), I would recommend making a template for the kids to trace the water lily pad (or you can predraw them on the black papers before you go into the classroom). When you use the watercolors to saturate the coffee filters, dilute the liquid watercolors a little to get softer colors and encourage kids to paint three of them, crumble them and put them on a side (leave them on a paper plate or just put them on a piece of a scrap paper with their name on it). You can paint the blossoms on the beginning of the lesson or you can set a table aside just for this purpose.

When kids use the oil pastels, remind them to hold the pastels low and press down hard. If they do not press enough, the colors are not going to be vivid and if they do press a lot and hold the pastels too high, they will break.

Encourage the kids to cover the whole surface of the water lily pad and then ask them to cut it out. You may need to glue on the blossoms later on, they will need 1-2 hours to dry (you can use just regular glue).

Reflection Symmetry: 3-5

This is the link to the presentation:
Printable labels:

Give the kids a little bit of time to think about the garden they want to paint.
You can share some poetry with them to inspire them:
Or let them look at some beautiful gardens:

Let the kids paint the garden and then write a little poetry (or a short lyrical text) about it. How does the garden make them feel? Why do they think so?

Start the project with folding the paper and make sure kids shade only one half of the painting with their blue pencil/crayon. Then they can start working on their own. Remember to encourage them to fold the painting frequently, so that the paint does not have a chance to dry. When they are done, they can add water lilies to their pond with green construction paper, paint, crumbled tissue paper, potato stamps, finger painting, model magic or anything else you may like to try.


Do you want to bring this art program (along with the magazine, more projects and ideas) to your school?

We are running an end-of-the-year promotion: 50% off if you sign up by 5/25! That’s only $125 for the whole school year! Ask us about details:

Water Monet’s Garden

Claude Monet spent over 20 years building and painting his garden… and even though he painted dozens of masterpieces there, probably the one that comes to mind when talking about him is his water lily garden.


There are many ideas for kid to paint his garden – but I did not find any for designing it. That’s when the foam and brushes with water came in.


I cut different organic shapes out of the play foam – based on Monet’s paitning (color scheme as well as the fluid shapes) and let the kids use brush and water to stick them to an easel. They had a blast and came with so many different variations, it was fascinating to watch. I think Monet would love it!

And if you want to try this at home, a great place is a bath tub – kids love creating huge, complicated images with foam shapes in the tub… the only problem is getting them out.

Visit Monet’s Garden


If you are like me and love Impressionists, then you probably thought (at one point of your life) how wonderful and peaceful it would be to visit Monet’s garden. It must have been perfect… he was working on it for over 20 years and based on what I’ve seen on photos, it looked just like his gorgeous paintings.

Now, it may be tough visiting the original Giverny  garden in France but that does not mean your kids cannot visit the garden by themselves… like my son.

Just print out these pictures. Cut out a picture of your child, cut out the bridge (or part of it) and glue it all together… or even better, have your child draw the garden herself, glue the picture on the bridge and then paint over it. Enjoy.

martas_monet_cutout monet_photo1 monet_photo2

Art Fair with arTree

I am back and getting busy. In less then two weeks, there will be an art fair at our local preschool where arTree will be hosting one of the activities. Here is some information, if you live close and would like to see a great preschool and/or spend some creativity filled afternoon with your child.

Join us for a silent auction and fun art activities for kids. Do you want to paint like Claude Monet? Do you want to get your picture taken in his garden, learn about reflection, see your paper flower magically open by itself and bring a some of the garden home – as a plantable paper? Then join arTree and others for some creative fun.

Saturday 27th April, 2013 from 4 to 6 PM @ Snohomish Goddard School (13119 Seattle Hill Rd, Snohomish, WA)

See you there – and if you cannot make it, I’ll share pictures and activities so that you can experience the impressionists from the comfort of your home.

Monet for little ones


So, this is my favorite watercolor idea combination: wax resist and Claude Monet. It makes sense to me. Everybody had crayons at home, wax resist a very simple technique that even the smallest kids can master very well, and Claude Monet… well, what can I say? I love Impressionists and the “not finished” or “almost abstract” feel to their paintings is easy for kids to master.

So, what can you do?


I also included a .pdf document that has all the instructions (including the home-made watercolors) and you can print it out, share it… whatever you want. It is but a small preview from the magazine-in-making. If you like it, check out the Kickstarter campaign an spread the word. Thank you guys and enjoy the colorful project with your little ones.

As always, there are more ideas at our Pinterest and Facebook pages.