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Ease @ the Easel with Harshada Kerkar (Day 1 & 2)
April 23, 2013
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Colours of summer…enthusiastic budding artists….and paper just waiting to be filled.

This was the situation on Monday morning, the first day of the Ease at the Easel workshop.

For the first 2 days, the kids would be working with Harshada Kerkar facilitating and guiding them.

The session starts quietly…contemplatively. Their talking about nature. The table is covered with leaves, flowers from the rain trees, seeds from the casuarinas trees. The kids are looking at them…touching them…feeling the textures.

Harshada is asking them the right questions….they ponder their answers and respond, sometimes tentatively. She’s told them a story about Lord Mahavir; who’s birthday it is the next day. Some of the things she’s shown them are from a garden she visited that is dedicated to him.

She then tells them to pick up their pencils and draw what they see and feel. Penciled sketches of leaves and seeds begin to form all across the table. The mathematician in the group and Harshada have figured that the single section of each rain tree flower has 20 strands.

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Harshada tells him he’s like a young scientist. He beams. And the 2 of them both settle back into drawing what’s now a more accurate representation of that flower.

And the session moves on. Everyone at the table is talking about what they’ve drawn. What kind of tree it is, where they’ve seen it, the features on it.

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And then it was time for the paint. Little by little small blotches of colour began to appear across the table as paint was poured out for each of the kids.

A tentative dip of the brushes into the paint initially….tentative strokes. And then began the colour riot! By this time, paints were being passed across the table, new colours were emerging and the brush strokes knew what they were creating.

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Harshada added a line here, a stroke there and guided the hand and the idea whenever needed.

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There were a couple of extra blobs of colour around the place…but who ever said that what we averagely consider a mess can’t be an artwork in itself?!

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The ids lay down their brushes…and their works for the day to dry. Most of them went home more colourful than they had come in that morning.

Day 2 and the kids are back…clean…and with fresh ideas! Harshada has a new assortment of things from around for the kids to work with. There’s a feather today. A big leaf. Flowers. Seeds….

Today, all these things have been muses for the kids’ own canvases. So they busily begin turning white to colour. Harshada has told them a story about how the butterflies got their colour and how each of them was thus named.

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Some of the artworks are inspired by that story. Some are inspired by other natural elements.

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There’s a moment of silence. Everyone’s concentrating hard. Everyone’s caught in a world of their own.

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And as that time began to end; kids being done with their own canvases in varied time frames; Harshada led them off to add their touch to the collaborative artwork…..to make their stroke on the bigger picture.

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More canvases to set out to dry for the day. Yet another day that the kids go home bedecked in colour. There’s 4 more days to go….

Perhaps their canvases are telling their own stories. The colours, the lines, the brush strokes. Little masterpieces, little stories, happy kids.

The colours of summer are looking good!

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