More Than Painting
Throughout the summer and sometimes during the school year, I teach painting classes at our local arts and crafts store. In the classes, I show students how to create a certain picture using acrylic paints on canvas. We go step by step; I paint each part of the picture, and they follow along. Even though we’re all painting the same thing, there is an amazing variety in the results.
Both children and adults attend the classes, and everyone works hard to create the painting, no matter the age. Well, almost everyone. My ten-year-old still has a lot to learn, and I don’t mean artistically.
When my older three were in elementary school, I taught art in my home. Since the people who came quickly became friends, my kids sat in on every class. Not only did they learn some basic art skills, but more importantly, they built up confidence. Although only one of them has recently started drawing again, they all know they could do it if they wanted to. But my youngest missed those classes.
So there he was, sitting in on the mandatory (for him) painting class. He hadn’t painted with me in over a year, so I was interested in seeing what he could do.
Though he did paint, he also kept complaining (usually in a whisper, thankfully) that it wasn’t working, that it was too hard, that his brushes were wrong, that it didn’t look like mine, and on and on. So as we were cleaning up, I broke the news to him that he was going to be joining the painting classes for the rest of the summer. Needless to say, he groaned and fussed a lot.
While the classes may be a source of relaxation for others, they are going to be a time of growth for him. I know that with each painting his confidence will grow. He’s going to learn that his picture doesn’t have to look like mine. He’ll be able to see himself as an individual, and he’ll begin to see how his work reflects his own uniqueness. He’ll come to know that he can do it, and he’ll feel that sense of pride that comes from accomplishment.
And me, I’ll have a wall full of great works of art!
What are some challenges your children are working through this summer?