Science Camp

One of the reasons that Joy and I traveled to Burbank was to see Sidra before she goes off to Science Camp. Sidra is our granddaughter.  She is 10 years old and has never been away to camp of any kind. I’ve written other blog posts about Sidra, who has a 19 month old brother, William: Being a New Sibling, Sib Interview – One Year Followup, Sidereal Lessons, Ten Years of Age.

She is very excited about going to camp. I asked her to tell me what she thought it would be like.

She said, “I’ll be with my friends from school. Some of us will be in the same cabin.”

I asked, “What do you think you’ll do there?”

She said, “Hiking and outdoor stuff.”

“What about science?” I asked.

“I don’t really know,” she replied.

Today’s watercolor experiment – by Sidra:

I asked Sidra if she would like to paint a picture of what she thought Science Camp would be like. She was really happy to try. Here is Sidra in the process of painting.Digital Photo: Sidra Painting 'Science Camp'

I took several time-lapse movies of her painting – at her suggestion. In between bouts of painting. She reviewed the movies. She thought it was really cool to see herself painting really fast.

She painted the lawn first. I tried not to intervene, but did suggest that she use my 2″ brush instead of the tiny detailing brush. She thought that was a good idea.

I did not make any more suggestions and watched her process. After the grass, she painted the outline of the cabin, then the door. After that, she filled in the outline. She painted the roof next.  I told her that she could squeeze out the colors on my (recently cleaned) palette. I held my tongue and she used gobs of color. Her watercolor rendering was impasto-like in appearance.

In the end, technique did not matter. The main idea was for her to imagine visually, what Science Camp would be like.

After she painted the cabin, and put the number on it, she drew a tree. Then she drew a stick figure of herself, and put a dress on it afterwards.

I asked her, “How would someone looking at this picture know it is Science Camp.”  Her answer was simple, “I’ll put in a sign that says ‘Science Camp’.”  She did add a couple of glass beakers, one in each of her hands afterwards, without my prompting.

I present to you, Sidra’s rendition of Science Camp:

Watercolor: Sidra's vision of science camp

Science Camp – Watercolor by Sidra
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block


I think this portrait of Science Camp is delightful. I hope Sidra’s experience at camp is wonderful and will paint another picture of her actual experience, when she comes home.  I also hope she doesn’t get too homesick.

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