Portrait painting, kindergarten style

Dec 2019

Methow Valley School District staff and local community members received custom portrait painting sessions last week, courtesy of kindergarten students.

First, the students learned observation and life drawing skills, working with Methow Arts teaching artist Judith Robertson. They sketched outlines, then filled them in with watercolor paints, initially using prints of famous portraits by Picasso, Matisse, Kahlo, and Van Gogh as models, and then moving on to live subjects.

As you might imagine, the school principals and superintendent proved to be superb models, and the likenesses the students painted of them were quite realistic.

Many of the students volunteered to paint portraits on demand at a community holiday event later in the week, sitting for up to three hours and painting visitors who came into the Methow Arts office, resulting in some keepsake art.

Even Santa took time out from his busy schedule to sit for a portrait.

Methow Arts’ education programs in the Methow Valley School District are sponsored in part by Icicle Fund, the Robert B. McMillen Foundations, the Methow Valley Fund, the Public School Funding Alliance, Winthrop Kiwanis, ArtsWA, and local and private donors and business sponsors.

Methow Arts facilitates a regional consortium of public schools, businesses and community entities that bring ideas and resources to arts education. Since 1987, Methow Arts has partnered with the Methow School District to provide learning in the arts for students. In 1996, Methow Arts entered a formal partnership with the Methow Schools, and in 1998 established the same with the Omak School District. In 2002, the Okanogan and Pateros schools joined the partnership, and in 2005, the Paschal Sherman Indian School on the Colville Reservation joined. In 2006, the Brewster School District became the newest partner. Through this partnership, Methow Arts maintains the arts as essential and central, providing opportunities for students to gain essential skills in the arts through residencies with artists. Lessons both deepen and expand other learning areas through the arts, and provide art specific learning.