We all have things that feed our soul. It’s different for everyone. For me, it’s teaching art. This past week, I taught the Art Club kiddos about one of my absolute favorite artists of all time. Wayne Thiebaud. Come on, now! How is it possible to not love Wayne Theibaud’s art? As a pop art icon, Thiebaud brought us classic Americana with his depiction of diner desserts. We took our inspiration from his work and used oil pastel with watercolor to create our own dreamy desserts.
As we learn about artists and their techniques, I always try to share a general life lesson that pertains to art, our specific subject matter, and the conversations the students generate. This wasn’t always intentional. It happened organically, as my students are very deep thinkers and have some pretty remarkable conversations for their age. Given that our Art Club students are mostly “tweens”, there are often many opportunities for discussion based on what they bring up in class. This week was no exception. I noticed that the kids were comparing their work to their classmates. I expect them to compare but I never want them to feel badly because someone else has better rendering skills or made a really cool design choice. This is where I typically decide to have a “talk”. I shared with them about my experiences as a student in art school.
I shared how I spent so much time comparing my work to my peers that I often missed the beauty of the experience. Creating art is very personal. Comparing what we make to what others make is human nature. Learning how to balance that with being mindful of the moment is key. In art club, we focus on the joy of what we are doing as well as the final product. And sometimes, we eat our cake (or cupcakes) while we create!
Here are our beautiful cakes!