Day 27. Lessons.

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″ global_colors_info=”{}” theme_builder_area=”post_content”][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” global_colors_info=”{}” column_structure=”2_3,1_3″ theme_builder_area=”post_content”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||” theme_builder_area=”post_content”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”4.14.5″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” hover_enabled=”0″ global_colors_info=”{}” theme_builder_area=”post_content” sticky_enabled=”0″]

“Who Knows What I’ll Catch” 11×14, oil on paper

I had not been in the classroom since 2012, which is the year the subject of today’s painting was born. This past Tuesday I was invited to Pass Christian Middle School to do an art project with a group of fifth grade girls. I’d known about it since the beginning of the school year. I’ve thought about it many times, but still I found myself with no fully formed plan or idea of what to expect. What’s a fifth grader? My sons are in college, ninth, and fourth grades.

Turns out a fifth grader is this really delightful human who, more often than not, gets very excited about purple.

I brought twenty-four plastic palette knives, some heavy body acrylic paint and medium, and my very best look of confidence (easier to pull off underneath a mask). I led the students through a color mixing exercise where they eventually made as many different colors as they could from just blue, red, yellow, and white. I started off by asking them how many colors they thought they could make. I think eight was our high baller, five our low. Each round they upped it a tiny bit. Okay, okay. I think I can make fifteen. No, seventeen! After four rounds I had a couple light bulbs go off– “ONE HUNDRED!” someone shouted. 

The thing is colors are like numbers– infinite. You can always add a touch more of this, a hair more of that. 

I started today’s painting when I was planning my lesson. Sometimes I do my best thinking when I’m painting. I thought I might guide the kids in a tree painting so I searched “tree” on my phone and up popped this stunning photo of Ezra fishing off the front of Kelly’s weather-worn skiff. I loved that the fishing pole met the water right on the shadow his body was creating on the surface of the bayou, as though he’s casting into the depths of himself to see what he’ll come up with.  I abandoned the whole tree idea and started this sketch which I later finished for today’s painting. 

I ended up letting the kids paint whatever they wanted with the whole array of amazing colors they’d created. One of the teachers said it was great to see them so free at a school known for its structure and rigor. Maybe I’m a better art teacher than I am parent. Maybe art is the thing helping me when it’s time just to watch from the bank and see what he hauls in.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_3″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||” theme_builder_area=”post_content”][et_pb_sidebar area=”sidebar-1″ admin_label=”Sidebar” _builder_version=”3.0.74″ remove_border=”off” global_colors_info=”{}” theme_builder_area=”post_content”][/et_pb_sidebar][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 27, 2022

Share Post

One Response

Leave a Reply


Related Blog Posts

Day 31. If you want to go far…

  “If You Want to go Far” 24×30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and...

View Post
Day 30. Reteach a thing its loveliness.

“The Bud Stands for All Things” 24×24 inches, oil on paper I discovered this poem last week by Galway Kinnell...

View Post
Day 29. Intuition

“Follow Your Intuition” 9×12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our...

View Post

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for this website. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals using this website.

Collection of your personal information

We collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information from visitors to this Website. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify a particular person or entity, and may include your IP host address, pages viewed, browser type, Internet browsing and usage habits, advertisements that you click on, Internet Service Provider, domain name, the time/date of your visit to this Website, the referring URL and your computer’s operating system.

Free offers & opt-ins

Participation in providing your email address in return for an offer from this site is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose your information. You may unsubscribe at any time so that you will not receive future emails.

Sharing of your personal information

Your personal information that we collect as a result of you purchasing our products & services, will NOT be shared with any third party, nor will it be used for unsolicited email marketing or spam. We may send you occasional marketing material in relation to our design services. What Information Do We Collect? If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.