Having assisted in a few of my local school’s art lessons some months back, I was amazed at the use of canvas boards in their arts and crafts department! Home to primary school-aged children, these were some of the most impressive canvas paintings I had ever come across!
For a long time now, canvas boards have been exclusively known as the real artists tool -predominately aimed at the more adult and professional of artists when painting. So, you can only imagine my astonishment when I walked into the art room of this school to find a wall adorned with children’s painted canvas boards.
I had to ask, out of sheer curiosity, how the children could do so much work on such expensive tools? Yet it appears that in recent years, so many discounted and bargain basement stores and departments have been selling canvas boards at hugely reduced prices – which have also somehow now made it into the children’s sections.
Intrigued at this, I ventured out for myself to find out about accessing cheap canvas boards and, sure enough, the school were right. For less than the price of a skinny latte, anyone can purchase a decent sized canvas board for drawing or paining on, and this gave me a further idea.
Opening a Canvas Club
Hyped by the inspiration and surge of stunning art work on display, I approached the school about the possibilities of running an after-school arts club, where all interested kids could concentrate on creating their own canvas masterpieces week by week, aided by my help and that of a local artist currently training at the nearby University.
A few weeks later, and with a maximum of ten children per session, the school agreed to my proposal and we now have a waiting list for future sessions! How, I was asked by a friend, can the school afford to fund such an event? Quite simply, all interested children come in with their own canvas boards! Not only does this keep the costs at a minimal level, but I’ve noticed that each child displays more responsibility towards their work when they know that the canvas belongs to them.
In future, I am hoping to put together a twice-yearly show, where by all locals, teachers and parents can view a selection of canvas boards in a temporary gallery, whilst bidding for their favourite to raise further funds for the children’s sessions.
All Children Can Be Artists
All it took was a little understanding that children want to be able to create what they see many adults create on a canvas board. That, plus the acquired knowledge that canvas boards are as cheap as chips in many stores, and we now have the beginnings of a wonderful club – which I know will continue to grow in popularity.
Who knows, we may just discover the next Van Gogh in our midst!