17 September, 2014

Community involvement

I feel very grateful for the life and the opportunities I have had to do ,really, just about anything I wanted. Sometimes I have squandered that opportunity but now I am utilising it.To be allowed to paint daily is a great joy and to call it a job sounds ridiculous, but it is and I am lucky, lucky,lucky .....and grateful.

So, I like to share . Yesterday I shared some of my expertise with the year 7 and 8's at Ngahinpouri country school.  When I pitched up ( they know me there! My sons are at the school. Nuff said), the class was excited about doing art  but I was struck by how they all ( ALL) said they were excited but were not any good at art. You should see this classroom. The walls are adorned with art and yet they still feel they are not " good enough". Once upon a time I felt this way too. I understood so I had planned a lesson about colour. I wanted to teach them that art is not just about drawing but also the magic of colour.

I started simply. I asked them if the know how to make green. Yes, the chorussed, yellow and blue together make green. Yes, I agreed. Now lets make green . Armed only with coloured pencils they sceptically coloured in a patch of yellow, then covered it with blue. You could hear a pin drop.
Then it started..." Cool!Wow!'".....the cries of kids witnessing the magic of colours being made. We carried on to orange and purple......then tertiary colours...then we advanced to paint. Hands got involved, someone flicked someone else...so I had to haul them back and we made more magic. I showed them the warm colours, the cool colours, analogous colours, complimentary colours....I asked the red-head what her best colour to wear was (Blue!) and explained why, as a complimentary colour , it worked and complimented her gorgeous red hair. Ping. Penny dropped.
I explained how two primary colours together are great but a third added makes a muddy colour. They only got it when I described it as two's company, three's a crowd!

We made colour wheels, we painted, we used oil pastels, we swirled and mixed and, at the end, collaborated in putting it all together in a wonderful collage of colour.

In the evening, I did a similar thing with the adults of the community. We held a lovely craft and art evening in the school hall funded, in part, by a grant from the local council. Shani P showed how to sew beanies and fingerless gloves in gorgeous fabrics, I demonstrated colour theory and potato print / masking taped decor art, Joanne Bouma and Anne KingScott demonstrated folk art ( delicate and colourful, like on barges of old) and fabric textured art......it was such fun. Watching people achieve things they did not think possibly whilst enjoying themselves immensely is a reward all in itself. People walked out with artwork, gloves, beanies and a sense of renewed creativity.

I hope we can do this again . It felt good to share.

Friday sees the school exhibition with artwork from all the children displayed in the hall, along with local artists work. The opening is from 6 pm till 8 pm and will remain open the next day( during voting!), so the wider community can come see too.

On the subject of sharing, here's the flyer Charlotte designed for our upcoming exhibition in Morrinsville next month. Please feel free to share it!

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