Not such a giant deal but I taught a 2 day realistic painting workshop to about a dozen and a half high school kids at The Art Academy. A week long summer program for kids that is independent of the school sort of. It was a Honesdale High School in Wayne County PA. What a great facility they have for the kids there. Many of the kids came from other schools in the Wayne County System. This is a very rural and low income area of the country. But the schools are very good. While most schools are minimizing arts programs Wayne is continuing to support them. They have lots of computers for design and photography, CAD systems, pottery facilities, and presentation tools. I was impressed.
I had be advised that the kids were hard to get to. As are all kids I guess. As old as I am I can still remember being a little prick. It was true they were hard to get to really only wanting to get painting. It was a bit of a physical challenge having to be on my feet for much of the time. My knee doesn't like me much today and forget my feet.
We worked in watercolor which is the preferred medium (it's easy to clean up). But difficult to paint with well. I supplied a bunch of props like old bells, silver cups, fruit and other such things. A couple of kids built still lives but most pulled out their iPhones and painted some image had had stashed there.
We didn't have the high quality materials but certainly good enough. Some kid were inquisitive, most not. The hardest thing to get across was to let the water do the work and not scrub away at the paper. I introduce the use of the proportional divider. Thanks Mark Carder. One girl actually used it to scale up a drawing from a picture on her phone and did a great job in record time. I was impressed. 3 or four kids did real good jobs. They all tried. One or 2 did really good painting. PICTURES TO COME.
The funny thing I notice was the angst that some of the kids had through the process. Confident their idea would work well to start, struggle and despair as they worked. Just the same as I do when I work. Hating just before I'm done. And miraculously liked as I finish. Go figure.
Today the local arts association hung show with one piece from each kid that participated. I hobbled there late this afternoon. It was great a rock band of high school kids and cookies and lemonade.
I have to give great props to Ellen Silberlich the HHS teach who organized and runs this program every year. She is a tireless worker for her kids. She is also a great potter. Her work can be seen here.