Even though we have only done four classes and that translates into 8 hours with the children , I am beginning to see how they are and how they will be for the rest of their life.
Teaching art to a very small class is the only way to go. Art is a relational experience and sort of a sacred space as they are exploring their most personal and tender parts of themselves.
Caring for that area of their life at this young and tremendously vulnerable age is a great responsibility.
They are formulating who they think they are in this world and this is the time where you decide you are able to communicate on a unique level to the rest of the world. Well how important is that.
Let me tell you about Aiden. He is a 7 year old boy.
He has a quiet spirit and is very bright and articulate. He is able to quickly observe changes to his surroundings and makes comments about them.
He draws a picture using only part of the paper. I want him to use the whole thing because he has a lot to get out. His personality is very obedient and compliant charming. He is tremendously thoughtful too.
So naturally he is a total joy to be around.
I sense a profound well within him of talent and I want to be there when it starts coming up.
I figured that because he likes to draw small concise things I should give him bigger and bigger paper to work on so he will be forced to go outside his comfort area.
Yesterday he did an upside down drawing and commented that he thought that version was much better than the right side up one he had done earlier.
It was not an easy drawing he was coping either.
He did exactly what I told him to do and only look at the picture one line at a time and draw really slowly.
Another exercise we did was to draw a number over and over again on a large piece of paper till the whole space was covered. At first he is a neat row of 7’s across the top in a methodical manner, but when I said I did not want to see any paper showing at the end he started making giant 7’s really fast and furiously which is what I wanted him to do. Then we did a whole page of curved lines and he made these wonderful curves all over with abandon. I was really wishing I had a bigger space for the kids to do some expressive body movements right after that and then go right into super slow drawing. I have this feeling that that would be a great way to access a deeper part of his ability in super slow.
I am thinking next class I will give him an even more complex cityscape to draw.
We are going to the Glass museum on Friday and I will teach the kids how to see with their whole body.
This is a technique that I stumbled upon when I was in New York and did not want to forget anything that I saw in the museums.