For several years, I have enjoyed celebrating “Back to School” by illustrating the creation of the world, as God gives us the world in six days. I enjoy this big, and sometimes messy, art project. This year I have used primarily watercolors (not messy) highlighted with black acrylic ink (messy!). The ink is fun to work with, but no matter what I do, I end up with it on my hands and the stain lasts for a few hours and lots of hand washings. Obviously, working with ink is for teens and adults. Younger children can use a black Sharpie either under or over the watercolor without smudging. You can use any art supplies that you have at home—crayons, markers, washable pastels, color pencils, etc. I got new watercolors this year. This is my first set of professional level watercolors and I love them. No need to have such a fancy set of watercolors. Watercolors for kids are available at many stores and are fine. However, for watercolors, you’ll need watercolor paper. It is heavy and absorbs water, and can be used for art tools other than watercolors. Here is the Genesis Art Gallery for 2021:
Our Art Gallery
Genesis, Chapter 1
Note* The ugly bird above is actually a Northern Ibis, also known as the “Waldrapp Ibis”. I saw one in a zoo in Austria and painted a photo found in Wikipedia. These birds are a miracle in that they went missing for over 400 years. Ornithologists are trying to develop a self -sustaining group of at least 500 of these interesting birds.
“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth
and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters
Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.
God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day.
Then God said: Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.
God made the dome, and it separated the water below the dome from the water above the dome. And so it happened.
God called the dome “sky.” Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.
Then God said: Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear. And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land “earth,” and the basin of water he called “sea.” God saw that it was good.
Then God said: Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. And so it happened:
the earth brought forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw that it was good.
Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.
Then God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the seasons, the days and the years,
and serve as lights in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth. And so it happened:
God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night, and the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth,
to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good.
Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.
Then God said: Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.
God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw that it was good,
and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.
Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.
Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened:
God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.
Then God said: Let us make* human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.
God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.
God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.”
Our Art Project– An Adam and Eve Collage
I love making collages because it’s a great way to repurpose old art projects or leftovers from paintings, etc. This collage uses the back of a watercolor paper pad (a heavy cardboard) for the backing. I had painted aluminum foil for another project and used the scraps for this collage. I cut out the figures of Adam and Eve from the watercolor painting that is shown in the gallery. Then I smeared the cut-out figures with gold metallic paint, glued them onto the backing, and finished with pieces of painted aluminum for the picture. You can use any material that you have handy–photos from magazines, old newspaper or gift wrap, even aluminum foil as I painted and used for this collage. You’ll need a heavy backing, glue and scissors, and then crayons, markers or paint. Have a lovely time making a fun collage with your kids. Remember–no need for perfection here…just fun!
Outstanding Accompaniments to “Genesis”
The books below are wonderful to read with your children while they are learning about “Genesis” from reading their children’s Bibles, and from discussions in religious education class.
The first book, Colorful Creatures, is a gorgeous nonfiction book that has outstanding photographs of animals– insects, fish, birds, and reptiles–arranged by color. I wanted to jump for joy when I saw this book. When I showed it to the children in my Sunday School class one year, they had the same exuberant reaction. They actually squealed!
Creation, by Cynthia Rylant, has beautiful simple paintings that illustrate God’s creation of the world. It also includes the story of Adam and Eve. It is a lovely, colorful book.
He’s Got the Whole World in His Handsby Kadir Nelson is a beautiful, loving book that illustrates the simple hymn it is named for. It is joyful and celebrates family–It’s a wonderful book for all ages.
A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long is a wonderful book on nature and botany. It is beautifully illustrated by Sylvia Long and is written by Dianna Hutts Aston. I have owned several of the books on this non-fiction series and they are inspirational. Celebrate the wonder and magic of seeds with your kids. This series is a great addition to a family library.