Parent advisory councils everywhere are always looking for a new wrinkle when it comes to fundraising, so it should come as no surprise that the North Addington Education Centre was willing to take a leap of faith and hold an art night last Friday evening at the school.
“This is the first one, and they’re getting popular all over,” said Amanda Mousseau, who organized the event along with fellow parent advisory council member Michele Alcock. “It’s something different from your regular fundraiser.
“And you get to take home something.”
The ‘something’ in this case is a 16” by 20” acrylic on stretched canvas painting of a lake scene.
“A landscape is a nice entry level to painting on many levels,” said instructor Katie Ohlke, who is also the school art teacher. “A tree really can’t look wrong and they learn some painting skills that they can use for a lifetime.”
Acrylics are used because oils are banned in schools because of the fumes and they’re much more durable than watercolours.
Ohlke begins by outfitting each of the 16 students with a canvas, brushes and paints (using only the three primary colours — blue, red, yellow — plus white not only for simplicity but also to explore how secondary colours — green, purple, orange — are mixed).
Then she gives them a photocopy of a photograph of Lake Tanamakoon taken by her friend Tina McAuley.
“We show them how to draw the scene, and some colour mixing from primaries,” Ohlke said. “It teaches them to think more.
“We want them to create their own spin on things.”
She said no two of the paintings will turn out exactly the same.
“This one (landscape scene) allows for a lot of creative licence,” she said.
Then again, given the prospective audience for such an activity, a lake landscape did seem like the perfect choice for subject matter.
“It’s knowing our demographic,” she said. “Besides, it’s not warm enough in here for figure drawing.”
Ohlke had much praise for Mousseau and Alcock.
“They did a wonderful job organizing and advertising this,” she said. “All 16 spots were filled and we’ll likely have another.
“I really like seeing my former students (Mousseau and Alcock) come back as parents,” she said.