Wednesday 12 September 2012

Kids Get Arty – Margaret Preston

I have a box full of art postcards that I have been collecting since I was a kid. The girls and I love looking through them. Cakey's favourite is the image of Anemones, a hand-coloured woodcut by Margaret Preston. As she consistently chooses this same image, I thought it would be great to learn a little more about Margaret Preston for Kids Get Arty.

Margaret Preston (1875-1963) was an Australian artist best known for her modernist style. She was predominantly a still life painter and printmaker. Her bright, dynamic flowers are our favourites, you can see examples of her work here. Preston was based in our home town, Sydney, so many of her paintings and prints feature flowers, bush scenes and landscapes that are familiar to us.

The first step in our art process was to create our still life scenes..... that meant some flower arranging, which the girls always love.

I provided a small canvas and a stack of paper for each of them to paint on. I also supplied lots of brightly coloured paint including a tonne of black as it is a predominant colour in Preston's art.

A picture of Margaret Preston's Anemones with Cakey's small flower canvas

Being two, Boo ignored the flower still life, mixed all the colours together and produced many paintings. She had fun! Boo is all about quantity but Cakey is all about quality. She painted three pictures, starting with her mini canvas. She was dissatisfied with her canvas painting and moved onto paper. At 4 and a half, Cakey has very strong ideas about how her paintings should and should not look. Sometimes she gets very frustrated and at other times she is happy to try again. Thankfully this was a 'try again' day.

This was a fun afternoon and Cakey enjoyed having a focus for her art. I would like to try a few more still life scenes very soon.

If this is your first visit to at home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along through our facebook page or subscribe via email or RSS. Cheers Ali

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Linked to The Kids Co-op, It's Playtime and Kids Get Arty


  1. Oh my, your flowers are BEAUTIFUL. So very vibrant! I love that you had real flowers to paint, the colours are so rich and wonderful.

    Thank you for joining in with Kids Get Arty.


  2. This is so lovely Ali! I just love these beautiful flowers. Thanks for introducing this wonderful artist to us.

    1. Thanks Mansi, you always leave such kind comments.

  3. This is great Ali! I really admire parents like you, who aren't afraid to effort involved to REALLY nurturing their kids. I can only hope I'm as good with my own kids when the time comes.

    Ali, I was wondering if I could maybe get some help? I’m working on an 'out and about' atm, and a part of the app will have bloggers recommending 5-10 places in their city to check out for all sorts of things from craft to shopping to where to family friendly places to take the kids and everything in between, I was wondering if you might recommend maybe a few places you love? I will put links to your blog on the app and drive more traffic your way. We have over 3,000 people signed up to download the app already and it hasn't even launched yet (we're super excited!)
    If you're happy to be a part of it all, Ali, just pop on here -

    or you can email me on xx

  4. This is just such a beautiful activity Ali...i so love the concept and the time and thought you have put into it with your girls! Pinning now...thanks for linking up to the Kis's Co-Op!

    1. Thanks Jode, it gave a nice focus to the painting for Cakey. Boo just wants to paint but Cakey enjoyed trying to paint the flowers.

  5. Oh I low this, and such beautiful colours!
    Amanda (The Ana Mum Diary)

  6. Ahh, this is the flower still life post you were telling me about! I love it! The colors, polka dots, outdoor painting -- what a happy scene.