School Enrichment Week

For those of you who may have read one of the previous blogs, I was kindly asked by King Charles Primary school to spend a morning with the year 3 children during enrichment week. What a fantastic week it was with the school children across Key Stages 1 and 2 having such an opportunity to learn lots of different subjects, compared to those they would regularly attend during a usual school week.

I can hardly advocate this enough, in children’s education it is great to see individuals excel when placed in an environment where the topics are not necessarily academic or sports related, and watch them shine. From spending a couple of years working in a Primary School, the immediate results from seeing children not only stimulated by Art lessons but also miraculous changes in their confidence is a reward in itself.

Nurturing Confidence

During that day, many children stood out for outstanding artistic talent and also the intelligent and curious questions they posed upon me. Which of course is praised and in some sense the easy part of teaching. Yet there was one child, who I noticed across the room, whose posture had slumped, he looked unhappy and lost compared to the other children on his table. I asked him how he was getting on and soon realised he believed he couldn’t draw. He had tried, he had really given it a good go, but there was lots of rubbed out drawings and with his school friends quickly making marks he was feeling the pressure, perhaps even embarrassed.

I’m sure many of us would feel the same in any situation, when we are struggling to keep up. It’s not a great feeling! I spent some time with this child, and helped show him how to draw the leaves. How to observe the shapes, of his plant, and transfer those onto his paper. Within a very short time some of the techniques I taught him had clicked, and he was drawing. Step by step we went through a few simple strategies, he quickly grasped it and he was away.

The rest of the morning was spent helping all of the children ( 60 of them ) with observing, drawing, looking at details and mixing colours. Every so often the young man I had helped kept appearing behind me, trying to get my attention. The little smile on his face said it all. How lovely to see the pride in conquering a subject he genuinely felt he couldn’t do, the enthusiasm and hopefully a task he may have a go at again, and just keep on improving.

I genuinely feel that during the workshops I deliver to children not only offers artist tuition and an insight to Science but also time and time again I watch their confidence grow.

Botanical Art Competition

As promised following the launch of our competition last term at King Charles Primary School and it has to be said the results we received were excellent. Here is a small selection of some of the drawings we received. It is clear from looking through the artworks and reading the notes the children had written that they had really taken on board some of the tasks I set them during the workshop

Some great observations have been made, after offering the children magnifying glasses at school to look at all the tiny details, it would appear they have taken this insight home with them. My goal is to restore a sense of awareness of nature and our surroundings through Art for the next generation. Hopefully by instilling this from a tender age it will go as far as benefiting their future with regards to environmental awareness and compassion for what is around us.

W I N N E R

After going through some excellent entries I was most impressed by an illustration of an Orchid by Rosie Van Vostraut, a clear winner! Her specific mark making and detailed observations must have taken much concentration and skilled pencil work. It is obvious that she shows great artistic potential and I wish her all the very best in her future creative endeavours.

Make a Botanical Illustration workshop booking for your school or college

If you would like to discuss the possibilities of holding a workshop please get in touch via the contact form. I have the relevant legal requirements to work with children and have experience with teaching all age groups.