Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in

Blackwater CS have had landscape artist Eilis O’Tool, introduce herself and her craft to first year students for six weeks. These sessions included a research trip in our local environment where students took photos on their phones for inspiration, learning the practical rules for working with oils and technical methods of paint application. It has been a wonderful experience and we are so grateful to the NAPD for this fantastic scheme.

The students have completed 46 paintings of their environment. The next step was for students to curate, run and promote a school exhibition of their work. They had to decide as a group how to display them. In lieu of financial sponsorship our local art gallery offered us assistance, the education officer Jennifer Marshall agreed to take students on a tour of the gallery. This included a brief discussion about lighting and placement, the role of the curator and promotion. Also they brought their paintings and photographs of their planned space to exhibit so Jennifer could help students appreciate the work and plan their display. As there are two 1st year groups this was the first time the two groups worked together, which set them up for the joint effort of putting together the exhibition.

Below are some student diary extracts, student photographs and scenes from the painting sessions.

“It was fun that we were out of class and just taking photos. In my old primary school we barely painted and if we did it was a simple thing, but over in Blackwater it’s really cool and fun and we have new tool like a pallet knife. I love art here because it’s a challenge.”

“We took lots of photos and it was great to get out of class and to listen to about what Eilis does in her job and it was something different which I enjoyed.”

“I think that these classes were a very good idea and I would love if we repeated it. Maybe it would be more fun if we did people or portrait paintings.”

“Eilis showed me how to blend the sky and the foreground. I am happy with my painting at the moment and I’m really excited to hold our own exhibition.”

“I actually thought that white spirits is amazing because you literally need a pea size of paint and then smooth it with white spirits and it will cover your whole canvas!”

“I learned how to mix oil paints and when your mixing them you need linseed oil and white spirits. I also learned what a pallet knife is for.”

“It was fun that we were out of class and just taking photos. In my old primary school we barely painted and if we did it was a simple thing, but over in Blackwater it’s really cool and fun and we have new tool like a pallet knife. I love art here because it’s a challenge.”

“..The pallet knife made it so much easier and effective to mix colours and the oil paints are really smooth and look really professional and they made me feel professional…”