Sorry you’ve had to wait a while to hear more about the children at Etchells; I’ve been busy painting a whole menagerie of animals for both exhibitions and commissions. I’ll introduce you to more new creatures soon, but for now, back to Etchells…
I would have loved to visit the children in person, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology I was able to video chat with them in-between painting. I was really excited to talk to them, when we connected through skype, I found a classroom of children all sat eagerly waiting to speak to me!
They asked lots of great questions; the first animal that I painted? which happened to be a stag. A few of the children said stags were their favourites, but there were quite a few different choices, foxes and cows both got a mention too.
The children have spent several lessons on their paintings and wanted to know how long I spend painting. It really depends on the animal; generally between 40-60 hours, but more for larger canvases, and stags take a little bit longer than some of the other animals because of their magnificent antlers.
The children walked the camera around the room so that I could see their display. Wow! I was blown away by their amazing paintings. If this is how good their work is now, I can only imagine how good they’ll continue to get. Practice makes perfect! Evie has very kindly let me have her workbook too so that I can share with you all the work the children did before starting their paintings. Thank you Evie!
Before they began painting they looked in detail at the eyes of all the different animals. Eyes give so much character to an animal, and something I focus on in my art, so it was great to hear that they had done the same.
They also looked at how to control the paint, how wet to make it before they blew it across the page, and from how high. I tend to work with acrylic paints, and in this recent heat it’s be drying so fast, the splatters haven’t quite been how I imagined, but that’s all part of the fun!
My cat decided that he wanted a bit of the limelight and walked into shot, much to the children’s delight. Everyone wanted to know if it was Mr Bojangles, but he is my studio cat not my home cat, he was pleased to know that the children asked after him though.
One question that made me chuckle was ‘are you rich?’. Unfortunately not in money, but I am in happiness in doing what I love. I’ve always had a love for art but only in the last few years have I been lucky enough to do this as my job.
I hope I’ve inspired some of these budding young artists, they’ve certainly got the talent. Olivia even went to visit one of my exhibitions in Keswick with her gran! I was so pleased and honoured to hear that she’d been, I hope she liked it as much as I have enjoyed looking at hers and her classmate’s artwork!
This is the first school project I’ve done, and along with their lovely teacher, who couldn’t have been more helpful; we have put together a KS1 & KS1 complete learning programme for art & design. It’s free to download (here), and I really hope that it can inspire and challenge more children to create their own pieces of art.
Don’t forget to let me know if your school studies my art. I always love to hear, and maybe you can be featured on my blog too!
For now, a big thank you to Etchells Primary School, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with them, and hopefully we can do something again when school starts back up for the new term!