I am an Artist

Last weekend Jon and I loaded up the kids and attended a Family Day event at this really great local arts centre. The point of the day was to expose everyone of all ages to art in a fun, interactive and non-threatening way. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what it would be like to bring Hannah the non-stop-talker and Jacob the non-stop-mover into an art gallery for the afternoon. Hannah, on the other hand, was stoked. As we were driving there she told me, “I am a great artist!”

Hannah posing with the bear
Hannah had to do the princess pose with the bear before we went inside

The event opened with an interactive portrait-painting session. Local artist Eleanor Hannan was on hand, while professional portrait model Monique posed for us all. Let me tell you, I had no idea how much skill is involved in portrait modeling. Monique held poses and dramatic facial expressions for more than 5 minutes at a time, not moving a muscle. It was pretty amazing. Eleanor created a portrait of Monique using a sewing machine (so cool!) and we all created portraits using paint, crayons and pencils. I haven’t done anything like this in a long, long time. I bet that it’s been in the neighbourhood of 20 years since I tried to draw a portrait. I really enjoyed it.

Monique models while Eleanor Hannan demonstrates
Monique is on the left, and Eleanor’s on the right

Amber and Hannah creating portraits
Hannah and me, creating art

Hannah drawing a portrait
Hannah hard at work

Here is our family’s little photo gallery. If you click on them you can see the full-size, including the embellishment Hannah added to my portrait. I love that kid’s sense of style, she’s all about colour.

Amber's portrait of MoniqueJon's portrait of MoniqueHannah's 1st portrait of MoniqueHannah's 2nd portrait of MoniqueHannah's 3rd portrait of Monique

After the portrait session, we headed into the dance studio for theatre games. This is something else I haven’t done in well over a decade. As an earnest 13-year-old with theatrical aspirations, though, I loved this stuff. Sadly, Jacob was losing some patience and he and I played in the hallway while Hannah and Jon pretended to walk through pudding. But the bits I did see were great, as these little kids threw themselves full force into performing.

Michael presenting theatre games
Michael Fera leads theatre games

Finally, to round out the day Hannah created a puppet with a lot of glitter. When she was done she gave me a little performance. More drama, but the good kind, for sure.

Hannah creating a puppet show
Hannah’s puppet show

I came out of the day feeling empowered. I encourage my kids to explore their creativity. I know that Hannah loves to paint and draw and needle felt. I would hope that she doesn’t stop doing those things that she loves, even if she’s not a professional artist. Because they’re great things. And yet I don’t extend myself the same courtesy. So what if I can’t really draw hands? Does that mean I can’t take pencil to paper and make my own art? Not at all.

What about you? When’s the last time you drew something just for fun? Join me in raiding the crayon box, won’t you?

PS – I am now contributing very couple of weeks over at 5 Minutes for Going Green! You can read my first post today, Returning Food Packaging for Reuse.

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  1. What a fun event!

  2. Josh loves needle-felting too.. he calls it KNIT-TING and stabs random flat things with random pointy things. Jeremy had him putting a crochet hook through a ball of wool; Josh looked very bloodthirsty, yelling (stab) “I KNIT-TING!!” (stab) “I KNIT-TING!!”

    I love making things – thanks for the reminder! Perhaps Josh and I will break out the finger paint today.

  3. I love how kids get you to rediscover things that have been off your radar for years. It kind of makes up for all the not-sleeping. Kind of.
    .-= Allison´s last post ..**************Slightly late list of 23 random things for which I am thankful =-.

  4. Yea art! I can’t wait until my little man is old enough to get out and participate. Mind you there are little person music sing-a-longs – just need to get out there.

  5. It looks like Hannah is into fashion —dress noted while you are working on portrait! (So fabulous!) Looks like a great experience for everyone!I love how Hannah made a portrait—-pencil face and then pencil body….then added bright colours where arm should be….so great.

  6. Sarah Joseph says:

    That looks and sounds like a ton of fun! I love drawing and painting but I don’t do it as often as I’d like. I always start with the thought that it is just for me and I don’t care if no one else likes what results from my effort. However, it is always nice to hear ‘wow, that’s awesome’. Which by the way your art is! :>)

  7. I was the helper at preschool for the first time this year, and got to enjoy working with a dozen four year olds, paint, glue, and construction paper. Messy and fun. The arts day sounds terrific!
    .-= Lady M´s last post ..He Said It, Not Me =-.

  8. That sounds like so much fun! I keep trying to get my son to do crafts with me and he is so not interested. At preschool the teachers tell me that he refuses to do the art projects and just plays with trucks. Sigh. I have hope that my daughter will be more artsy when she’s a bit older.

    I’ve only been reading your site for a few weeks but I really like it. I don’t know if you’re into blog awards but I gave you one over at my site.

  9. How awesome are you!! I could never drag my hubby into something like that but lucky for him we don’t have anything like that here where we live! SO wish we did though. That sounds like it was a blast!
    .-= Melodie´s last post ..Foodie Fridays: Hearty Tomato Lentil Veggie Soup =-.

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  1. […] PS – If you are really curious, I talked a bit more about our day at Place des Arts, and shared my family’s artwork on my personal blog at Strocel.com. […]

  2. […] I am an artist. Or, at least, I like to make […]

  3. […] But what about adults? What of our creative impulse? Who is encouraging us? […]

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