Teaching is an art in its self

Every week dawns with me thinking that once I get through this week, next week won't be as busy. And you know what, every week is as busy as the next. It's time to start living each day instead of wishing my life away!

Last week, I was the 6th art instructor at The Next Picture Show's 6x6x6 Art Camp for kids. I had between 8-10 kids from ages 10-13, kind of like a one room school house sort of thing. There were 4 boys this year....up from one last year. They didn't seem to mind doing closeups of zinnias. On the second day, when they finished early, they did a "free paint" which brought on dinosaurs and robots!

During the first day's class, a painting customer of mine stopped by to pickup and pay for all 4 of my 12" x 12" oils (apples/barns). The kids looked perfectly bored with me at the start of the class, but I showed them what can happen when you pay attention and practice...I flashed the check for the paintings at them and you'd think I was a rock star!

The class itself took on a life of its own. After we got the flower sketched out the first thing every single one of them asked if they could paint them different colors. Why not? So, I just helped them with how to handle a brush, mix complimentary colors for proper shadows, and how to CLEAN their brushes correctly. No black was allowed to be used. Kids, boys especially, love to put black in everything and turn a painting into a muddy mess!

By the end of the 2nd day, they all had some nice paintings. When they were all lined up to dry, they kind of looked like a quilt!

Also, last week on Wednesday (between the two classes) Debbie and I went to Chicago to meet up with my youngest daughter, Morgan, to look at apartments with her. Her lease is up on 7/31 and she waited this long to do some real looking. No stress there. As soon as I got to her place, I gave her the keys and she drove us all around. She was really interested in the Pilson neighborhood, a mostly hispanic, blue color neighborhood. The area has undergone a renaissance of sorts, but is still very ethnic with lots of little kids, families, colorful murals, etc. Also the rents are cheaper. One reason the rents were so cheap is that they didn't have refrigerators! Deal breaker. We didn't find anything to put a deposit on, but we met up later with Debbie's son, Chris, and his friends at the Shedd Aquarium and went to little Italy (a block and a half from Morgan's) for a great dinner outside at Rosebud's on Taylor.

Chicago is the best big city ever. It's gorgeous, diverse, and plain good ole' fun.

Today, once I get my butt away from this computer, I'm going to finish my copper still life and get ready to go help work on ANOTHER project. Debbie, her daughter Arin, and I are starting drawing/painting instruction with 6 kids at the probation office. They are all to design and paint a tree to be incorporated into a 10' H x 20' W mural outside of the Lee County Probation office. Hopefully, all will go well.

Jeff just left to go to Chicago to pick Morgan up. She's moving home for a month. The apartment we did find last Wed. wasn't available until 9/1. So, for one month she will live here, work in our restaurant and save some money. Guess I better pick up some groceries. Morgan, God love her, is a great eater.

Well, this turned out to be a novel. Time to paint.