Last Sunday morning I drove to Silver Falls State Park near Silverton, Oregon to teach a little journaling session with the high school kids I taught encaustic to last March. The park is a magnificent setting for groups and art gatherings. The kids had made tie dyed tee shirts and hand bound books among other fun activities.
The day was slightly damp and cool, as the elevation and time of year typifies. Everything was green and lush with autumn golds just beginning to show in places.
Everyone was ready for my arrival as I got the time wrong and arrived late. We scrambled to make it right and I jumped right into the drill.
I was really tired from my marathon teaching at Art and Soul. From the parties after hours which I cannot resist. All that laughing and catching up. I'm sternly telling myself to slow down.
Coming to the forest though was a meditation to me too and a drinking in of beauty and calm after so much socializing. I took photographs of the trees and colors. Maybe to use in work later.
There are cabins and a dining room that serves meals. Good place for an art retreat for big people, don't you think? The only drawback is that it is at least 2 hours from the nearest airport. Poot!
Here we are at the end of the day. We took pictures for about 15 minutes; some of the guys got tired of smiling. But I assure you we all had fun.
Gentle young spirits, learning, gaining confidence in their strengths, so impressionable and new. They really move me. If I had them in a classroom all year I don't know if I'd be able to let them go without tears. You cannot help but like them a lot.
I urged them to make grunge; to let the emotions and paint fly.
My voice is finally coming back after barking out instructions over the loud music that I loved. The vintage teacher was singing to the tunes she recognized, especially "When I'm 64".
My job was to keep them all moving and not thinking - just letting the moment carry them away.
And look what they did. The little geniuses. Fantastic invention, daring feats, beautiful pages!!
My demo. Yes, I got to paint too.
Don't you love the big enamel trays they use for palettes?
Look closely at some of these pages and see if you can guess how they were done.
Thank you, Shannon, for being such a great art teacher and for having me back again.
Shannon is a one-woman movement who has even gotten Jesse Reno to agree to come in and teach her high school art students.
Wouldn't you love to watch that?
Aren't these kids going to love Jesse?
They deserve the best teachers and all the encouragement we can give them to prepare them for what comes next.
Maybe you know I have a degree in Secondary Education but beyond student teaching have never really held a regular teaching job.
So maybe I'm prejudiced when I say teachers are the greatest. Because educating children is the most important job there is besides growing food.
My priorities are getting simpler all the time.
So thank you, Shannon, for giving me another day with these guys.
I loved every moment of it.
Okay, one funny tatoo story. The picture says it all. The world's oddest tatoo. I suggested continuing the line all over the body and then connecting it at the source on the other end. I guess the tatoo artist couldn't make up her mind. Plus I like the skeletons who seem to be reaching for it.
And before we move on from Art and Soul completely, here is a picture of the two Judy W.'s . I think it's funny that we have similar glasses. (love you, sister)
So I've decided to share a couple of comments from two of the students that tremendously moved me. Matt says, "Judy is sick". That is high praise in case you didn't know. Thank you, Matt!
And this one. This one puts me completely over the top. Bless these precious children, help protect their future, keep them strong and tender-hearted.