What’s a “Gruffalo” and what does it have to do with me?

I just returned from a trip to Thailand to work with the children at Help Save the Kids and visit my daughter, son-in-law and other friends and family.  During my stay I helped out by showing several of the older students how to plan out, create and make a mural. The project turned out twice as large as I had anticipated but I think everyone involved was happy it did!

By the way, a “Gruffalo” is a make believe animal that lives in a forest! The students were blessed with several volunteers who came from Australia to help out during their “Summer break” from school etc… They used a book about a Gruffalo to teach music-singing and playing a recorder, English, drama, costumes etc. The project took a life of it’s own and got much larger than anyone expected and when I arrived I was put in charge of the “set design” and to teach the students how to create one-props and all!

Learning the songs.        The start of the mural.           And progressing             And props

DSCF2216       mural beg                  mural props 2

This mural is portable and able to be moved and the students can perform the play in different villages. Here we are working on the hanging system.  And the final product!

       DSCF2299    DSCF2314     mural done with team

It was such a rewarding experience to help these young people…to show them a plan and to execute it-sometimes changing the way that was familiar to me to since we often had to improvise because of the lack of supplies! It was a joy to see the excitement and pride these students had in the work that they completed. I fully believe that their imaginations have grown and their confidence and dreams have become even larger!

A quote from the book  The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus, ” Every artist must have a motivation; every creative act is a materialization of the invisible. Everything we do is a manifestation of imagination”  And Van Gogh once wrote, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

Here is a picture of the whole group of students and most of the staff!everyone by mural

Another little piece of information- I am happy to have a painting called “Turquoise Sky” accepted into Valley Art Center’s Juried show…  The show is from January 22-March 2nd in Chagrin Falls Ohio.

It's Elemental Earth and Air



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