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Ruth Asawa inspired Leaves

This project is perfect for fall and inspired by Ruth Asawa.

Ruth was born in 1926 in California. Her parents were Japanese immigrants and she was forced to live in an internment camp during WWII. She also experienced much prejudice because of her heritage, even making it impossible for her to get a job as a teacher. Because of this she enrolled in art school and had very successful career, which also allowed her to advocate for arts education.

Though she is most known for her sculptures that were crocheted with metal wire, Ruth also experimented with other materials. She was very interested in the natural world and exploring how color, form, and space all wove together.

Look at these two paintings by Ruth. What do you see? What do they remind you of? How do the colors and shapes interact?


- Liquid watercolors

- Spray bottles

- Unprimed canvas or fabric

- Leaves

- Long stick

- String

*First make sure your spray bottles are prepped with liquid watercolors. I would do 1 parts watercolor to 2 parts water (give or take, the watercolors go a looong way).

This is a great project to do outdoors, especially during the fall. Gather a handful of leaves and lay them out on your canvas. Use the spray bottles (on the mist setting) to spray watercolorS onto the canvas. As you work take away and add leaves, then spray again with new colors. *Tip, dont spray all the colors in the same spot or it will turn muddy.

While your artwork dries, find a good long stick. Once everything is dry, cut two small holes in the top corners and run a string through each hole and tie it onto the stick, tada, your artwork is all ready to be hung up on your wall!

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