Thanks to Two Waters Arts Alliance and its Tuesday After Hours Art Classes at Key Peninsula Middle School, last week found me surrounded by eager young ladies honing their skills in the artistic creation of batiks.
The past four years, TWAA artist Stephanie Flintoff has been coordinator for the KPMS Art Club, to which she brings local artists to teach classes. Some artists who have visited include Chris Bronstad, Tweed Meyers and Patty Finnigen.
The art session I attended was taught by Flintoff and her daughter, Molly Duttry, a Peninsula High graduate and now a sophomore at the University of Washington.
“We are teaching an art form called batik,” said Duttry. “I took my first batik class in seventh grade at KPMS through TWAA. I am very happy I’m able to teach this class with my mom because I love batik and feel like it is an unfamiliar art form.”
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Batik is a method of producing colored designs on textiles by dyeing them, having first applied wax to textile areas not dyed. This is done repeatedly until a design is made.
To seventh-grader Madelyn Hartshorn, “Art is a way to tell stories to the world.”
Declared classmate Jaiden Reinhart, “I love doing Art Club because it is so fun and you learn many things while making beautiful artwork for lots of people to see!”
For freshman Grace Nesbit, “Art makes the world a better place because it brings out the color of the earth.”
To classmate Eliza Brown, “Art expresses your feelings; it is very fun to do.”
Batik is an important art form for students to learn because it introduces them to the color wheel and mixing colors, Duttry said.
“It is important to dye a batik in the order of the color wheel starting with the lightest color because the fabric gets darker the more colors you add,” she said. “This idea of the color wheel also makes the artist have to think in a reverse order than if the artist was going to paint or draw the design. Unlike drawing, the black, or darkest color, is dyed last making the artist fill in the design leaving out details and outlines, when, in a drawing, those could be drawn in last.”
Said seventh-grader Diana Smolko, “I like to do art because it’s calming after a long day of school and I also love to do art.”
Classmate Annika Brown said, “After school Art Club is a way to express who you really are.”
To sixth-grader Maddie Crews, “Art can change people because they can express themselves in ways they normally can’t.”
Classmate Elizabeth Daigle said, “I like art class after school on Tuesdays because it is super fun and we do amazing projects.”
TWAA brings in many local artists to teach kids what they would not be able to learn if this program didn’t exist. Batik, acrylic, water colors, 3-D sculptures and oil pastels are some of the subjects being taught this year.
“It is really great that these kids can learn new art forms and experience new materials and how to use them,” noted art coordinator Flintoff.
And, how very rewarding!
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at email@example.com.