Students Get Chance To Expand Imagination



Andy Towle/Roundup -

Breanne Miller’s painting explodes with color and freedom of expression.


Andy Towle/Roundup -

Tabitha Donsbach concentrates on painting another flower to complete this exercise during an art class Friday sponsored by the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library in Pine.


Andy Towle/Roundup -

Robyn Bossert emphasizes a hands-on approach when instructing children to be creative and express themselves.


Andy Towle/Roundup -

Caroline Donsbach helps with the art class and pours unused paint back into the proper containers for use on another day.

The tempera flowers that splayed across desktop-calendar-sized pieces of paper looked easy enough to create.

However, art teacher Robyn Bossert said drawing big requires releasing inhibitions and expectations, which children sometimes find difficult.

“It’s very hard to get children to expand, because young people want to draw small,” Bossert said. This six-week session of art classes at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library in Pine for homeschooled students began in January and will end this month.

Another session will likely begin, though a start date has not been finalized. About 16 students attended last week’s session, which is open to children ages 5 to 15.

Teaching homeschooled students is no different than teaching in a traditional classroom, Bossert said. She used to teach at Rim Country Middle School.

For homeschooling parents, however, art classes complement academic coursework.

“It is really good for them to expand their imaginations,” said Caroline Donsbach, who homeschools her 7-year-old and 4-year-old.

The library wants to provide more services for homeschooled students in the Pine and Strawberry area. Parents can fill out an anonymous survey at the library with ideas.

Bossert has been teaching the art classes for several years.

Students learn about the color wheel, vocabulary like analogous colors and how to draw a face.

And boy, “Can they draw a face,” Bossert said proudly.

“It’s just trying to reach out to the community with library services,” said Junetta Clifford, the library’s youth program coordinator.

The classes are free, and Bossert said the Payson Art League is generous with donating supplies.

Bossert pointed to the purple flowered expanse of Donsbach’s 7-year-old daughter. “She has talent with color and contrast,” Bossert said. The purple flower featured a yellow center and paint covered the whole big page.

Donsbach’s son, however, found giving himself freedom to paint big much more difficult, Bossert said. Erasing one’s inhibitions is part of the lesson.

“Let it go,” Bossert encouraged.

Usually, people draw flowers as if looking in at the center, but Bossert made her students paint them other directions, up and down, for instance.

“Expand your horizons,” she said.

The practice strengthens a student’s observational skills and allows him to move beyond the expectations of others, which Bossert said is difficult for children.

“Enjoy life. Draw outside the lines,” quipped Donsbach.

And if someone makes a mistake? That’s OK, too.

“I think instead of being timid about putting something on a piece of paper,” Bossert said, “they learn they can make a mistake and move on.”

“She is inspiring to the children,” Clifford said.


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