I run several Art sessions each week after school for children aged 5 -11 years. They are really popular and I've been running them for about 8 years now. I have always taught art alongside being an artist. Living in the countryside I wanted initially to offer creative opportunities for young children in rural areas. I moved from Brighton to Norwich in 1997 and I was quite shocked at how few 'art' opportunities there were here. I run my Art sessions to try and give children a chance to use lots of different materials and media but to also develop real confidence as they progress. In some schools Art seems to have a smaller and smaller place in the curriculum. They develop some amazing work and we have a proper exhibition of the art work each school term. I always make an artwork myself to start each project alongside visual ideas boards. I don't think its fair to ask them to do something I haven't attempted myself first.
I started a new project with my Art groups last week looking at faces and expressions. I wanted the idea to be really colourful and appealling so I made this piece as inspiration using a large sheet of cardboard as backing and making the headshapes and hair from newspaper and masking tape. I then painted all the detail. I used lots of bright patterns in stripes and spots and added hair accessories from cardboard. The children loved the idea and are developing some brilliant responses. One of the older girls who responds to anything decorative is making some wonderful hairstyles from curls and spirals of newspaper and some of the boys are making mohicans and punks for some of their characters. I hope to include some examples when they begin to paint their work.