Thursday, 14 February 2013

I'm bananas about you...

Close-up from Lucy's water colour
Recently I held a children's class, for just three extremely enthusiatic young ladies, aged 8, 10 and 13. Quite a range in ages, especially as they didn't know each other. But impossible to tell their ages from looking at their artwork.
Focus and attention.

I was delighted with their attention to me, their willingness to persevere, their warm laughter together which I could hear while I was in the kitchen making them a cup of tea, and of course, the wonderful paintings they produced.

Lucy's banana, complete with heart motif!
Look at how much care they are giving - softly applying the paint, mindfully getting the right pressure on the brush. I had expected to cover two subjects during the session, but the girls were so engrossed in this exercise, and learning so much from it that I allowed them to keep going. So these paintings took two hours to complete, and not a sigh or a moan from any of them. Pure joy.

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Given the right  materials, constant encouragement and explaining what they should look for, until they FIND it, allows people of all ages to produce the most stunning artwork. From 8 to 80. (Though I had a lovely student on my distance learning course who was 92 at the time. How fabulous is that?) But more even than the artwork produced is the process involved in doing it, for these young people - focus and concentration are life skills, the ability to stick with something even when it is difficult (because we all know how to quit already) is confidence building, sharing that striving in a group situation increases the learning value and exposes students to alternative ways to solve similar problems - helping them see solutions instead of problems, in an atmosphere where they cannot fail (for I won't let them) and the satisfaction of getting to the end is priceless.

So, although I'm mad about their bananas, it's only a little bit about the bananas. Its all about the everything else.

Well done girls, you're brilliant and I look forward to doing more. xx

Next up: Portrait workshop, Oils workshop, Water Colour workshop and childrens classes. For information emsil

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