Sundays are my regular kids mixed media classes and yesterday, all were sick but one. I thought she was going to be bored but it worked out well as I was able to give her my undivided attention. It ended up being one of the most heart warming experiences I have had as an artist and a teacher. She asked if we could look at one of my art journals and insisted on an explanation for each and every piece, how I did it and why. She even wanted to know the meaning behind each. This girl is 7 (she also just happens to have the same name and middle name as my youngest) and I was shocked she was so interested. That and the fact that she was so complimentary and in genuine awe, page after page. Funny, as I have been in the same situation as her admiring someone else’s work but have not asked any questions. She mentioned that she would never be as good an artist as I. So, I decided I would sit down and create the ink blowing project right along side of her, both of us in our art journals. I explained to her that I wasn’t a better artist, just one with more experience was all. She just needed to show up to the page to gain that experience.
The first thing we did was gesso our pages so the ink would move around better as opposed to being soaked up by the paper. We used india ink with a regular old plastic straw and blew it around.
We then created a heart stencil out of plain white paper and used the cut out part as a mask on the other side.
It was fun keeping things basic and not over thinking which products to use and where to place things. That is my general philosophy with the kids “don’t over-complicate things”. It was kind of a lesson for myself as well. Why don’t I do that more often? The only extra things I used were the Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 pencils (which write on almost anything and can also be used as a water colour) and the Faber Castell Gelatos (which are like liptsick and go on like butter).
I added some pieces of vintage pattern paper here and there.
I decided I would dedicate this layout to teaching due to the amazing experience I had just had.
I added the quote “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
I just rubbed the Gelatos with my finger and used a vintage bird image to add a little something more as there were quite a few hearts.
My little addition to the quote.
I realized my little student also taught me something on that sunny Sunday morning. Sometimes as adults we are so afraid of appearing to pry or being improper that we forget to show genuine interest or sincere appreciation and awe. I will hopefully in future remember to be so bold and just ask questions. If they don’t want to answer, they won’t but if they do, I might just get to know them a whole lot better and make a genuine connection with another human being.