Another adventure making art inspired by The Secret Garden, a classic children’s book, and finishing with a tea party.
Every summer I offer The Secret Garden, and during the pandemic I taught via ZOOM, so being back in the classroom was very welcome and these students stole my heart…they were delightful! Expressive, engaging, friendly, talented and so much fun, I could not have asked for a better group of little creatives to work with for The Secret Garden art class at Bemis.
One of my favorite media to use is art tissue. It is made especially for use with water. Once the tissue is activated by water, it acts like watercolor paint and creates amazing puddles and shapes of color. It is the perfect tool for making expressive flowers from The Secret Garden.
This is what the first step looks like after the tissue is removed. Lots of vibrant color, unique shapes, and a watercolor effect.
In the Bemis classroom, there is an overhead mirror for helping students get a good look at the process being taught. Here is a photograph of my students discovering how cool the mirror is!
Students work at different paces, and I offer the opportunity to work side by side on a community painting. There are no rules, they can paint whatever they would like just as long as it relates to The Secret Garden.
It’s always fun to take a silly faces photograph!
On the last day of class I host a tea party in the small garden area outside of the pottery studio at Bemis. My mother’s English China is used for serving the goodies and tea, floral headpieces are created for each student to wear and take home as a special gift from me, and lots of yummy treats are served. Neon gummy bears (not very English but a favorite with the students), French macaroons, vegan cookies (brought by students and very delicious), confetti Bundt cakes, and peach tea were served. It was a special gathering and the perfect way to end our weeklong Secret Garden workshop.
Besides making art and learning mixed media techniques, all inspired by the story of The Secret Garden, we like to have fun in class too. The personalities emerge as the week unfolds, new friendships magically happen, and there are lots of smiles and joy.
This week was incredible for me as a teaching artist at Bemis! I am thankful for these students and a place where art can be celebrated and made in community… a place for all ages to explore their creative intuition and find their voice.