Spring Valley at Nine Studio
Every Wednesday, for the last 8 weeks, another teacher and I were visited by about 50 Spring Valley Science School fourth grade students. Separated into two classes, we used inspiration from the popular Pixar movie Coco (a movie I was excited to finally watch and found myself crying at the end to) with hopes to learn about different art techniques and mediums.
We began the semester with a few fundamentals such as figure and still life drawings using graphite and colored pencils. By the third week they were learning techniques with watercolors and creating landscape paintings. Throughout the 8 weeks their sketchbooks, that they were given on day one, became a timeline and a way to see their artistic growth. Something they could take home and continue to use and practice the techniques they learned at Nine Studio.
At the end of the 8 weeks we gave each student an 18x24 piece of watercolor paper and asked them to use what they had learned throughout the semester to create a final painting. Using their knowledge about landscapes, figure drawing and patterns they sketched and painted a final piece of art to complete the semester. Final pieces included everything from scenes from outer space, beach landscapes, and a cityscape from San Francisco’s Chinatown.
One of the personal highlights of these 8 weeks for me was on the last day, a young boy who didn’t seem very interested in art in the beginning of the semester, looked up at me, with a giant smile on his face, and said “I like art now!!” Experiences like that one is why I teach.
Opening children’s eyes to something they might not get a lot of experience with otherwise is inspiring. I look forward to working with Spring Valley and other community elementary schools in the future with hopes to have more positive reactions about creating art outside of our own little studio.