Port Townsend Camp
Last week I joined fifth graders from the Evergreen School at the NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend for my fourth year of “expeditionary camp.” During a fantastic few days, the students build boats, learn about navigation, go sailing, and practice expeditionary art and journaling with me. Heading out to the Olympic Peninsula, I experienced the usual ferry wait.
Then I experienced an unusual wait at the Hood Canal Bridge which was under maintenance. Fortunately it was a nice day and I could enjoy the view.
I love sketching outdoors and it’s always a pleasure to see how the students dive into field sketching.
During one of our sessions, we were visited by a territorial Kingfisher and I guided the students through gesture sketching. I love completing rapid sketches of animals. As they move, I watch them intently, and try to take mental shots to draw them in various positions and get a sense of their energy.
I added simple watercolor washes to a number of the sketches. Just a little color can bring them to life!
By the end of our three days together, the students had completely filled both sides of a 13″ x 40″ journal. We fold them in half lengthwise, then accordion style, to create a unique sketchbook.
We do an “art walk” at the end to appreciate everyone’s work. I encourage the students to think about the journals as a record of their explorations, observations, and personal expression with a healthy dose of creative license!
Before I left the students, a few from the group spoke in appreciation. One particularly stood out to me, “I discovered that sketching could be more than just doodling, but seeing the world in different ways!” It delights me to share art and I reminded everyone of words I keep close to heart, from my first grade teacher, “a creative person is never bored!”
2 Responses to “Port Townsend Camp”
thanks so much for sharing! lovely work; I especially like the color added to the kingfisher sketches.
This is an inspiring account of teaching young children about art. How wonderful that at least some of them had such insight into the artistic life! You gave them that. It could well be life changing. Even if they don’t go on to be professional artists, they may become lifelong sketchers.