Taking Risks: kids learn to draw in nature
|By Matthew Desrosiers - Editor | March 20, 2014
“Learning to draw begins with learning to see.”
David Alexander Risk repeated the lesson several times to children and parents who were eager to learn from the internationally-acclaimed artist during a workshop at the Haliburton library on March 12.
Earlier that day, Risk gave a similar workshop at the Minden branch where he taught participants to draw. He also educated them on wolves and about other wildlife in the Highlands. He gave a third workshop on March 14 at the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve, where he is the artist in residence.
“They’re learning how to draw, and [I’m] teaching them about nature,” he said. “It’s free art and nature classes. It’s always free.”
Risk said he has been providing these types of classes for almost 30 years.
“Kids are so much fun,” he said. “They have so much energy.”
More formal art classes are too rigid for young artists, and puts them in a box, he said
“By incorporating music and drama into the actual art, it breaks down walls and peer pressure, and gets them to think outside of the box.”
“This is so radically different than preconceived notions of art classes.”
During one segment of the class, where Risk was teaching the kids how to see, he reached into a big bag and quickly threw an item into the air. The students had only a few seconds to identify the object and draw it, before it disappeared behind a screen.
Risk also brought in a mounted wolf to use as an education tool.
“They were going up and hugging it,” he said. “I thought that was so amazing. It kind of gives them a different perspective when they actually see a wolf. To be that close and not have that fear, you can start educating them.”
“It’s all about education.”
MATTHEW DESROSIERS is the editor of The Highlander and tries to find room in his house amongst the animals that have taken over his abode in Tory Hill. He thinks The Highlander’s office manager Ashley is pretty sweet, but loves all of the staff as long as they work as hard as he does. Matthew has an impressive, and kind of creepy, obsession with Star Wars. You might catch him volunteering with the HE Fire Department or covering local sports.