If there were ever a time that art was as important as bathing, childhood is it! A child develops socially, intellectually and in spatial and physical co-ordination through the practice of creating art. There are so many advantages to this part of our growth and education and yet, it is the one subject that is so often cut at school. We need to be able to reach that creative self in times of stress and difficulty and find a place of beauty, even as a child.
I remember dragging out the colored pencils at every opportunity (even in high school), to help communicate a point in my homework during my school years. I remember tracing patterns with wax over cotton and dipping them into buckets of salted dye… waiting for them to dry, breath held for the great unveil! I remember running my palms around a blob of clay on a wheel as it took shape as a reasonable facsimile of the Leaning Tower of Pizza, only to crack into pieces in the firing kiln. I learned that I have only so much control over the results of things in life and to keep trying.
I have been an artist for 38 years and in that time, I have learned many things through my art. I have learned that you need a plan in life and you need to be able to roll with it when it changes. I learned to create my goals and figure out what I need to do next. I learned that everything I do is not destined to be hung in a frame, but it will serve a purpose non-the-less.
We are fortunate here in the North State to be saturated with creative people and businesses. Many of these offer a wonderful opportunity for children (and parents) to take up their creative visions and start the journey! Many art classes can be found at the Chico Art Center on Orange Street in Chico (530- 895 8726) or the Chico Art School on Broadway in Chico (530 895 8358). Local artists registered there teach drawing, pottery and painting. Some artists teach privately to groups or individuals in their studios, and others can be found through the local district recreation centers. Your local Art Association will have contact information for the various art classes available.
I have been teaching acrylic painting to both adults and children for over 7 years, along with my own mural and decorative painting business of 17 years. My students learn to lose the fear of painting it “right” and enjoy the process of each project from start to finish. I have found it to be an important part of the learning process to bring both the practical and the creative mind to each painting we do.
Frustration is an important part in the learning process, as it tells us that we have to assign new pathways to our new skill. Our mind pays attention to what it is struggling with and we look for ways to overcome, or to simplify, what we are working on. In this way, we remember that a little white mixed in makes the perfect gray; that adding water to the paint will thin it and make it transparent and that with acrylics, we can let it dry and paint over. I have many paintings that owe their fabulous texture to letting it dry and painting over!
Some of my favorite memories of my childhood are of standing in front of an easel, wondering when I would ever be able to paint what was in my head. After years of enjoyment and practice, I am finally able to paint a unicorn dancing on a cloud!
Christine can be reached for classes or decorative paint work at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling: 530-370-1285.