First Painting Lesson
Art Lessons for Children. As Alan unpacked his paints and brushes, I’m sure the tension emanating from my mum was palpable, considering he was doing so right next to her brand-new sofa. Naturally, she was wondering how much mess a 3-year-old having their first painting lesson could truly make. The profound thinkers amongst us would probably say that the answer to that question was a lot, but Alan assured her that she had nothing to worry about.
I was that 3-year-old, and back in the early 2000s, Alan was bestowed with the task of teaching me how to paint. Even though this day was a long time ago, I remember it with total clarity which certainly attests to how much fun I had, being a child who loved her arts and crafts. Alan got out some paper and showed me different brush strokes and various ways in which I could mix paint to get different colours, all in a way which was understandable to me. He then asked me what I would like to paint. I pondered this for a while, as if it was a deep philosophical question, and finally revealed what would be my first masterpiece: a rainbow.
Paint a rainbow
He then got out a canvas – I knew at this point that this painting lesson was a million times more exciting than anything I could do at nursery. I loved the lesson because instead of Alan dictating to me how to paint a rainbow, he allowed me to go wherever my developing artistic tendencies took me. Soon the rainbow was joined by a tree, and I started to fill in a deep blue sky. Being free to paint what I wanted, I asked Alan questions. He showed me how I could press the paint brush on the canvas in a certain way to put leaves on the tree, and helped me to mix the perfect shade of blue for my sky. It wasn’t all totally serious – Alan is very good at getting down with the kids, so to speak, and he was fun to talk to and made me laugh a lot. My mum talks about hearing me giggling throughout the lesson. She was also quite pleased to discover that her new sofa had been left unharmed.
A painting lesson is not something that a lot of 3-year-olds get to experience, but I wish that more did. The lesson inspired a love of art and creating, and the little skills that Alan showed me that afternoon stayed with me with every painting I did, from nursery all the way up to my school years and beyond. He told me recently that he’s started giving drawing lessons to a 5-year-old from the local area. I’m thrilled that Alan is teaching children still, and I hope the next generation love his art lessons as much as I did.
Guest writer Catriona McVey.
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