Artist in Residence week 4 – how’s it all going?

In a word – fantastic!

This coming Monday (Jan 28th 2019) I start week four and time seems to have flown by. I have mentioned adding another month to my time at the school because it feels like I’m hardly getting going and it’s nearly over….. so that’s sorted now I’m pleased to say.

I introduced myself to Middle School at their assembly the other week and last week I rode my bike to the school to introduce myself to the High School, the weather was icy and I underestimated the grip my tyres would have on it…. and crashed, some minor bruises (partially dislocated elbow…ouch) and some damage to my bike (easily fixed later) I decided not to wimp and head home to check myself out and instead, carried on to school…. and wasn’t expected 🙁 so didn’t do my intro. Not to worry, slight communications issue, but I’m all set for this week.

Classes have been going well although, I misread the week before last Friday afternoons timetable and was really late for a year two lesson….they were sooooo cross with me! I love the fact they cared so strongly! Well we continued sketching the view out of the window and we got into a position where both year 2 classes were ready to paint with watercolour!

I’ve been looking at some older students work with them and it’s been great to see the enthusiasm they have. The students are teaching me more than I could imagine teaching them. There are some great paintings about and some amazing imaginations there. I will ask some student if I can photograph their work and post on here. I know some of the blog readers have suggested I post more photos on here and I’d love to but I need to observe the protocols involved with this, there are data protection/child protection-type issues to consider which is fair enough but a lack of images make this usually very visual blog look a bit bland. I hope to get some sort of arrangement with the school regarding this soon so please bare with me.

I’ve been very excited to work with some students involved in a school production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Last week I was helping to make props, when it’s finished it’ll look great and I will take a photo to post. The week before I was with a team of students who are extremely creative and industrious in designing posters and tickets (and Tee shirts I think) for the production. The quality of their work is outstanding and the level of engagement in the task is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Mid-week, last week I was fortunate to have use of our car so I bought some paintings down to school. I thought there were plenty but when they were hung on the wall they looked a bit lost so I definitely need to increase the body of work, use stretched canvasses so I can hang them and make the work more ‘school-specific’, that will not be a chore at all! Although figure work is great fun, everyone moves so fast my sketches have to be super fast…but that can be seen as an interesting challenges and the results far different from my usual stuff. Could I be evolving? Let’s hope so!! I heard there were a few people enjoying the work, the year twos were very interested and some members of staff chatted in depth about the paintings, I felt really pleased with the reaction.

Definitely need more work on the wall!!

On Friday afternoon, the two groups of year 2 mini-artists got stuck into some water colour painting and I had a great time, Zsuzsi and I had to adapt the demonstration part so everyone could see and it worked out really well in the end. Some great work from the student too! With a little luck we will be finished next Friday and, at the risk of repeating myself endlessly I’ll take photos and post (I’ll even swap my iphone camera for my posh one). So here are some photos I took of the two demos I did for the year 2 students, both are unfinished and I’ll post the finished article also.

Year 2 group 1 watercolour demo

Grade 2 group 2 watercolour demo

The art department had a meeting on Friday afternoon and one thing discussed was the Fine Arts Fair, or FAF in mid-February, it feels great to have been asked to get involved! I shall be drawing large scale outline drawings from life, perhaps of older students and the children will be adding bright colour to these! I’m loving the idea and looking forward to it.

So….I’m writing this part a few weeks later because I was waiting for some photos. Unfortunately and for various reasons I wasn’t able to make it to the classes with the grade 2 students but they continued with their work. I noticed they were pinned to the wall in the corridor outside the classroom and I stopped in my tracks! They looked great and so I took a few photos on my phone – I’ll post them below and let them speak for themselves….

On Friday I bumped into Tristan who showed me his sketchbook that he had been working on, my favourite picture was his green robot!!

This is Tristran’s robot – I was really pleased to find out he’d started keeping a sketchbook!!! Brilliant stuff 🙂

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