For the past 9 months, I have had the privilege of working with the students of Sun Peaks Elementary School. It has been an amazing experience for me...and has been both challenging and extremely rewarding.
The age range was from 5 - 12 years, and the classes were K/1's, 2/3's, and 4/5/6. Since, my kids are grown and out of the house.... i had to re-learn what each age group was capable of as far as motor skills, language etc... The teachers, and my daughter were wonderfully helpful with all of that. I also learned that I really am not good at class management, but I did learn a few tricks for getting everyone's attention.
So... I thought I would list the top 10 things that I have enjoyed about working with this wonderful group of kids.
1. The student's ENTHUSIASM!!!
2. Their CREATIVITY!!
3. Their ENERGY - meaning positive vibes.
4. I really enjoyed taking a look through their sketchbooks and seeing how they interpreted some of the things I had shown them.
5. Their willingness to help... carry supplies, help each other etc..
6. How the experience stretched me... and helped me come up with better language skills for teaching
7. The hugs
8. Their delight when I showed them cool things like adding running alcohol or salt to paint on canvas.
9. Their unique visions for their work.
10. My buddy Anne Elliott (retired educator), who joined me half way through the year.
The painting on the left... is a collaborative work, done by the 4/5/6 class. Each class did one of these collaborative works.... each is unique.
All in all .... great experience.
Often artists will talk about their process. I have learned that this can refer to how they come up with their work... how their ideas are formed or arrive.
Because I live in such a beautiful country, inspiration... for me, abounds. If I pass a tree with an interesting bark pattern,
or notice the way the light is striking something;
if I'm hiking up in the mountains and can see forever, or ....
even just driving ...
i begin the process of painting.
In my mind, I go over what colours I will choose, how I will mix them... what else I will add... I call this part of the process "painting in my mind". Once I get back to my studio... I begin to sketch "thumbnails". These are small sketches that lead to the larger painting. They help you to see what works and what doesn't.... what is pleasing to the eye.
Thumbnails are an important part of my process.
Soul Trap Bed and Breakfast Along The Trail
Liz R. Derksen is an artist living in BC.