Art Classes

If you can teach your children art, more power to you. I have tried. It worked for a bit, when they were younger, and we brought out the paints or the sculpting clay and went to town, not caring about the final project that much. The process and preparation was more important than the result.

Sketching a scene from Ender's Game

Sketching a scene from Ender’s Game

Then, we got older and wiser. We realized the art curriculum was just sitting on the shelf and we never got around to using it. Why? Because it had become obsolete. Or, it was too much preparation for me to teach. I have bought more art curriculum than I care to recount, but I do not regret it. It still sits there for us to use one day.

Until then, I will take them to Art Studio of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. It happens to lie five minutes from my house. Don’t you love short commutes? We have so many long commutes for orchestra (75 minutes) or church (60 minutes) or even piano (20 minutes). Art classes feel like a holiday in that way.

Learning water colors

Learning water colors

Sometimes I stay, other times I drop them off – it depends on what errands I got going on. The teacher, Ms. Camille, is a former public school art teacher who opened her own art studio at Buie’s Landing, on Hwy. 321 in Gatlinburg. She works well with children and teaches through a project-based learning approach.

Ender's Game Painting

Our son with his first Ender’s Game painting

I took my art curriculum to her, but when I heard her plan, I liked it better. The kids get not only great art instruction and hands on experience, but also the opportunity to respect and appreciate another teacher in their lives.

Painting of Smoky the Cat

Our daughter painted our cat, Smoky, from a picture I took of him.

So far, they have made four or five 16×20 canvases with her help and we are very impressed. It really boosts a child’s confidence when they can finish a project that looks that good. Last but not least, there is no mess for me to clean up at home. They clean up after themselves at the studio, where they work, and that gives them yet another life skill.

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