It’s that time of year again, I’m getting ready for another new term. And once again because of continued Covid restrictions, it’s an online term. Before Covid I always had a rough idea of what I wanted to do each term, but often allowed my ideas to percolate and settle before deciding on a final class plan, which allowed me to change my mind as the term progressed, depending on the needs and ideas or requests of the children. Unfortunately for me, I can’t work that way now, as I need to order materials in bulk, months in advance of the term starting. Brexit has scuppered the delivery of art materials and has caused many delays in ordering. None of this is ideal when I’m planning so far in advance. I’ve also discovered that it’s a good idea to add in a few extra bits and pieces to allow me to change my mind during term, if the mood takes me (as it often does). This way the children will also have a few extra arty things in their bags that they can use in their own time.
For the upcoming and final term of this academic year, I have decided to have ‘summer’ themed classes. I have really missed doing clay and printing with the children over the last year. (Essentially I have missed the classes where we all get to make an almighty mess and have lots of the sort of fun we don’t often have at home) After much trial and testing of materials and methods, I have figured out a way to do simple printing at home without too much mess, but still with a wow factor. And I have picked a clay substitute that meets my standards for not breaking into tiny bits and that stays stuck together after the class. I am very excited to be adding both of these to the list of art classes that we will be doing this term. We will also have watercolours, drawing, collage and mixed media. I have decided to include some shapes of pages that are not standard A4 size. As the children are very familiar now with using their Doodle Bags and keeping materials safe from week to week, I think that they will enjoy the new shapes and sizes presented to them.
It has taken many days to get everything ready and packed into the Doodle Bags. Making up so many takes up a lot of space and as there isn’t that much available space in my studio, my sitting room is full of Doodle Bags, ready to be delivered and posted.
My favourite part of all this preparation for each term, is getting to meet the children (from a safe distance) when I deliver the Doodle Bags. It’s lovely to see them for real, to smile and wave and say hello without a screen between us. It’s also been lovely to meet all their pets and siblings, most of whom I’ve met on screen too. This term I may even bring my own rescue dog, Bailey, on my travels so that he can meet everyone one too. He’s already met most of the children during class as he hangs out in my studio when I am working, oftentimes he sits on my lap as he is a great snuggler.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and having lots of fun with new ideas and materials.