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Independent Spirit- Summer Art Camp 2016

“We teach what we most need to learn” ~ Richard Bach

The purpose of my art camp is for the students to feel what it is like to be an artist for a week. Similar to an artist that goes plein-air painting(painting in the open air) , one must have a basic plan and then be prepared to go with the flow. …

Despite a full week of rain… the camp was a success.

There was community, smiles and fun had by all. We did yoga, meditated, painted, explored different mediums, got a little dirty, hula hooped and played tag. Learned to thread a needle and make a stitch. Even climbed a few trees.

Basic plan:

  • SHOW UP – Be prepared. – Remember your sketchbook and lunch.

  • FEEL INSPIRED – Set up, get grounded, paint and adapt.Due to rainfall, our physical yoga practice was 80% rained out, so we did other forms of yoga-mandalas, yoga-nidra, silent meditative walk and sketching.

  • EXPLORE/GATHER INFORMATION – Learn from the masters. Canadian artists-Group of Seven and Janet Mitchell.

Learn from local living artists. Thank you to the guest artists who shared their love of art and creative skills during the week. Nothing like hands on experience to gain a greater appreciation of the mastery they have achieved in their work.

Lenny Lane-Printmaker, Linocut prints

Susan Fae Haglund, Fiber artist,- Fabric Bird Sculptures

Shauna Mireault, Dotty Mandala Rocks

  • WORK HARD– Hours of creating was accomplished.

  • MEET A DEADLINE– Art show on final day.

They worked hard towards the final art show. Each student was allowed to choose their final acrylic painting project based on what inspired them. We stuck to the basic plan and adapted when necessary.

My Aha teaching/learning moment happened while I was doing a demonstration for my 8-year-old student.

After watching me for a few minutes, she questioned me as I held her brush in my hand. “Isn’t this my painting?” She asked. “Absolutely!” I replied. I was busted, caught in the act of creating my students work. A clear reminder…Hands off teacher! Children have the amazing ability to know what they want and they generally go for it.

I smiled as I watched her confidently finish her painting while her little hips swayed to the music. She was in the flow…. this is where the magic happens!

The “Independent Spirit of the Artist” is the quality that shines the most.

This quality needs to be polished and protected. It is what makes us all unique. It is what makes art exciting and original. When I see them dancing, smiling and generally proud! I am again reminded that art is about the individual joy of the creator. The beauty is the result that can be shared and felt by others.

Whether you witness the experience first hand or walk in a museum to look at art. There is a sense of wonder. Where it came from? How was it created? What was the inspiration? Who was the artist?

I was honored to spend a week with these 9 artists, independent spirits, young minds and future leaders.

Summer Art Camp 2016

In Creative Spirit,


“ What I learned- you have to remove the inhibition. Children don’t have inhibitions. Anything goes when they’re drawing or painting. Then, there comes a period, when they start tightening up, when they want to do things as they see them. It’s very hard to knock down those barriers.’ ~Janet Mitchell

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