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Welcome to my art blog from Tasmania, Australia. I post a little on my various art projects while also working in plant genetics. For more, please try the links to my various art pages or email me at silvergumstudio@yahoo.com.au. Thank you for visiting!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Proudly presenting ...

This is Tarremah Steiner School student Tara Sharman, for whom I acted as a mentor this term.  Along with other Year 8 students at Tarremah, Tara was asked to design and complete an independent project to develop her skills and gain experience in any area she chose.  Each student was expected to find a mentor (through cold calling if necessary), plan and pace a project to completion, keep a journal and give a three-minute presentation about the process and results.  Projects were many and varied - song writing, cheese making, building a gypsy caravan, working in a chef's kitchen, and building a pendulum-operated drawing machine, among others.  Tara, a keen writer, decided that her project would be to write and illustrate a picture book.

It was a real joy meeting Tara, discussing ideas for the book she finally chose to develop - A Day With The Dinosaurs - and working out how to capture those ideas on paper.  Tara wrote a lovely flowing text, which we broke down into page spreads.  Here's her blurb for the back cover:  There were spiky dinosaurs and loud dinosaurs and dinosaurs as tall as the highest trees.  There were dinosaurs for Bruce and dinosaurs for Bailey and dinosaurs for everyone else.  But there wasn't one for me...

In the end, Tara's hero Henry gets his dinosaur, but not without trials.  Planning the page-by-page artwork, practising drawing techniques and finishing the book were also not without trials - a common experience for all the Year 8 students, judging by their talks which I attended last Thursday night.  Most spoke of last-minute dramas and the helping efforts of heroic parents.  Tara talked of how she had seriously under-estimated the difficulties of making a picture book.  I can relate to that experience, and although Tara thought she was receiving inspiration from me, I was equally inspired by her.  Listening to the talks, for the first time I realised that several of my friends were also mentors for Tarremah students - scientific friend Cherie had taught cheese making; glass artists Ruth and Merinda had taught kilnworking techniques; animator Rex had helped with computer animation.  I would really recommend doing this to anyone who is asked.  Tara's great enthusiasm and fresh ideas brought a lot of fun to my studio, and I am very proud to have my own signed-by-the-author copy of 'A Day With The Dinosaurs'.

Well done Tara!!

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