Skye and Lochalsh Kids' Art Club - Sarah Longley
The Sunday after the schools closed at last, I decided in the shower to start a Facebook Children's Art Club. I'd been running a small club at my daughters' school (Auchtertyre Primary) every Wednesday afternoon for several years and felt sad that the kids there would be missing out, so in the beginning it was just our school. Then we decided to expand it to all the children in Skye and Lochalsh no matter what the age. My plan is to gather together all the artwork produced by the children (and hopefully some parents) and make a joyful exhibition in Kirkton church hall, when the lockdown ends.
I've seen over the past few weeks a blossoming in creativity online, whether it's music, crafts, cake-baking or photography. This is wonderful to see. My passion lies in drawing and painting and I honestly think anybody can do it, and more importantly should be doing it, for all kinds of reasons not least for our mental health. When I teach I want to empower people (both adults and children) with a few techniques in using different materials but also the idea that they CAN do it. Too often children become disheartened, usually around the age of ten or eleven, which then continues to adulthood. With this extra time forced upon us I hope that parents and children might rediscover the joy of making art together. We can learn from each other: I learn so much watching my children draw with complete inhibition and joy. As Picasso said 'All children are artists'.
Among the topics we've tackled so far are mark-making with charcoal, mono-printing, clay and water colour painting. I try to fit it in around my own work and homeschooling so it's usually very spare of the moment and spontaneous. I've done short 4 minute videos with my eldest daughter filming on my phone and my youngest helping in the demonstration. They both seem to enjoy it, although they do complain sometimes! Other members have shared their own ideas and I love seeing what everyone is producing, it's incredibly uplifting. I think art will help us in this long stretch, it's just a case of giving it a go, not worrying too much about the end result and having fun!
If you are interested in joining the group just look up 'Skye and Lochalsh Kids' Art Club'.