Sunshine + art…what more could we want! Here’s a few memories of our art making during this years summer camp.
Last month I participated in a really fun event called Arts Day at Greenwood Collegiate. The event is to celebrate the arts and give the students a day off of regular school life and to celebrate and experience different art forms. Along with other artists, like puppeteers, drummers, step dancer and visual artists, I offered a water colour painting workshop. Most students hadn't used water colour paints much, so I led them through a project that was accessible and fun. One of the teachers commented that the whole process was very zen and captured the student's focus, which is a challenge with this group. That was pretty great to hear! They did get totally into the paintings and added to the mental and emotional benefits were the results...some pretty great paintings!
During a recent art class, the topic of feeling lonely came up amongst the kids. Once everyone has settled in, and the art making has begun, I ask the kids if anyone would like to share something from their day. No one is ever forced to share, but inevitably they all do. And in this casual way, our group is talking about real situations and feelings they are experience in their worlds. Like feelings of loneliness and what it means, how it feels, happens and how they deal/respond...if they do... During the class, they asked each other questions to understand their stories better, they related their own experiences and in thier own way even gave each other a little advice. It was pretty sweet and magical to witness. The feel in the room slightly changed...we all felt more open and connected as a group.
As this happened, the art making, hand made prints and cut outs inspired by Matisse continued. These kids are between the ages of 5 and 8! And they have thoughts, feelings, ideas and inner worlds they need to express too.
As an artist, I feel it's important and helpful to teach children about different mediums, techniques and artists, so that they grow in knowledge, curiousity and possibility. But equally and maybe even more important, is to make space for the spirit of expression and creativity to be fully welcomed. Art can be healing in this way. Things we may not recognize we need to let out or know how to, can find natural and safe way to be expressed.
As you can probably tell, I am a big lover and believer of the arts, all the arts and its gift to affect and enrich lives in small, everyday and significant ways. xo
This winter's pottery class with the school age kids has been a hit. It is a small, intimate sized class, which gave us all a lot of time and space to play and experiment with the clay. Being newbies at pottery, the kids have all love that opportunity to pound and roll and manipulate the clay freely. Our first official project was to make pinch pots and I think they did a fantastic job! The next step will be to paint and glaze them. Stay tuned to see how they turn out!
For the last class of the winter session the kids painted a still life of tulips...to welcome spring! They first drew a simple sketch of the flowers and then painted their pieces using a limited colour palette. It's so inspiring to see how free and expressive they are. And always so interesting to notice that even though they were looking at the same vase of flowers and had the same paint colours, they are all so unique...just like them!