Monday, May 26, 2008

Artist In Residence

Last week Rosie's school hosted an 'Art's Week', during which they had various artistic and literary projects taking place, culminating in a Dress-as-your-favourite-book-character-Day on the Friday(last day of term). Myself and another mum from Rosie's class answered a call for artists by the school and were asked if we'd like to repaint a Wendy-house in the playground.
We got together and came up with some designs, which we spent a week realising, with much fun, using gloss paint, acrylic paint, stencils and sponges.
The weather stayed perfect all week and the rain managed to stay off until Friday afternoon, just after the varnish had dried - yay!
I got the nursery class involved on Thursday. I cut out some stencils of butterflies, flowers and dragon-flies and took the children out in pairs, gave them a sponge each and some paint and let them paint their very own designs. Every child got a chance to do some painting (the class list came in very useful that day), and it was great to see their excitement at taking part in the project.
It was very rewarding work. I felt privileged to be able to see what Rosie gets up to during her school day, and she loved seeing me popping in and out of class. I was so impressed with how welcoming and helpful the teachers were and how hard they work each day to educate our little tots!

The last day of term had a real holiday feel. The teachers and pupils made a great effort and came up with some wonderful costumes. My Rosie dressed as Stephanie from LazyTown, complete with pink wig! She attached herself to a boy in the class who had come dressed as Sporticus! She enjoyed a picnic on the grass in the morning with her classmates, then lots of playtime for the rest of the day. The headmaster dressed as Dumbledore and I saw at least one Hermione, and a few Harry Potters.
My friend and I finished off by decorating the inside of the Wendy House. I painted a star scape on the ceiling, then with a touch of mischievousness, I added a Tardis, then a Death Star, and the Millennium Falcon, accompanied by two X-wing fighters! Martyne painted a lovely heavenly mural on the walls, complete with angels and stars.
The headmaster presented us both with a bottle of wine, and the Nursery class came out to survey their paintwork. Everybody seemed very happy with the result, not least Martyne and I!

I'm looking forward to doing more work in schools. It's great to be able to give something back.

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