Reminiscent of the Group of Seven, four local young artists have been travelling from park to park to paint the landscapes that surrounded them.
With their paints, brushes and canvases in tow, the four students – sisters Veronica and Fiona Bernard and Michelle and Ellen Siebel-Achenbach – along with their instructor Sandra Bray set up camp, allowing nature to inspire them. The students have been studying with Bray for the last three years as she teaches them about landscape painting as part of her Art in the Park program.
“The main goal is to have a good time because art can get pretty intense, but the girls that I teach have been around for a few summers, they are all really bright and I find that what ever I teach them one year sticks with them and they remember it,” said Bray.
The girls have a clear understanding of the basics, she added, as they recall learning about foreground, background, mid-ground and understanding of how colour changes as you move through distance; a blue is much more intense closer to you than it is farther away.
Along with painting, Bray had her students research artists as a way to open their minds to other works and help them develop their own style.
“We really focused on what kind of art or paintings they liked and what appealed to them, and then I asked them to work in the style of their favorite artist,” said Bray.
The girls selected a wide range of artists, from Piet Mondrian and Vincent Van Gogh to local artist Laura Renwick, for inspiration in their own works.
“The girls took the styles and made it their own.”
As the program came to an end on July 19 the girls proudly displayed their work in the Woolwich Township offices and will have their art hanging in the main lobby until mid-September.
“I am trying to give them a lot of different experiences in art and relate it in different ways so that art is fun and interesting to them and hopefully this will give them a way to think about art if they are at an art gallery that will allow them to look at it or get into the work differently.”
Bray has been approached by numerous parents who are interested in having their child take part in the summer art program but she wants to keep the classes small with no more than four children at a time. She is willing to hold second session if there is enough interest.
“A group of four is perfect for me in terms of size. I feel that I can give them individual attention and they do not have to wait for me to give them feed back and if the students are at different ages a group of four is still manageable.”
For more information about the classes offered or to contact Bray visit her website at www.sandrabray.ca.