Both art classes went well yesterday, but I was one tired artist when all was said and done. I started the Little Girls art class with some drawing exercises to get them in their right brain. We did some simple drawings where we looked at the object being drawn, but not at our paper. The idea is to look with your eyes and let your pen follow your eyes and not to be concerned with how the drawing looks. The drawings are usually pretty comical, and I teased the girls lots, hopefully setting a precedent. I want them to have fun. I want them to be comfortable with each other and me. It is important for them to show their work to each other and not be embarrassed or shy, so I insist on looking at and talking about individual drawings with all included.
We did the blind contour drawing several times before I let them draw and look at their paper. It is amazing how often people will draw something either from real life or from a photo, but not really see what they are drawing. They draw what their brain thinks and not what their eyes see. Then I set up a still life with a teapot, a cup, and a pear. The object of this lesson was to see the relationship between the objects and set them to the paper in a pleasing way. I don't expect a lot of these first drawings, but these lessons are things that I will constantly repeat. We did some shading and tried to make a finished drawing. One girl finished first and was done. No amount of talking about what needed to be done to make a drawing better encouraged her. She was done. The other girls were willing to work until their moms came to pick them up. Interesting.
I shut my eyes for a few minutes in between the Little Girl's art class and my Wine and Watercolor class, but only a few minutes. I probably should have spent the time going over my next lesson, but since we were painting roosters, I decided to wing it. Ha.
Twenty-one people showed up for the Wine and Watercolor party/class. As I figured, some were serious artists and some were there to party. It all went well. I talked a bit about color and technique, and then we dove in. Probably if this had been a real art class, I would have done more demonstrating how the painting should go. Instead, I encouraged everyone to be creative and have fun with their painting. I spent quite a bit of my time going from person to person to "fix" little problems. Most were fixable. Values (darks and lights) were the biggest problems. And just like my Little Girls, they started off whining and worrying (needed more wine), but soon fell into the mood and knocked out some nice paintings. When I started showing their work to everyone and pointing out interesting art, they were like my Little Girls again - they protested. The truth is everyone likes to see each other's work and they like for theirs to be shown off. I try to find something good in all paintings. And like the Little Girls, some people finished early and that was that.
All in all, I think it went well. They were nice in their critiques of me. Personally, I felt I needed to be even more prepared. It's funny how you prepare and think you have it all under control, but when you get up in front of 20 people lots of things slip from your mind. Anyway, I'm glad it is over. I think I learned more about teaching and what to do next time. Next time will be next Wednesday. I will have a small class of watercolor with more serious students. I've taught these ladies before, so it should go well. Famous last words.