When we were in Uganda we took a Monday morning off from mural painting and we did some teaching instead. The children were split into two classes, Carla took one half for letter writing and James and I took the other half for some drawing projects. We worked with the first class then swapped with Carla and repeated the projects with the second class. The children in each class had ages which spread right from about 3 or 4 to 15! So within each group we split them into a younger and older half and gave them different lessons to do.
The drawing out was quite a time consuming part of the project. James and I both took part in this stage which made it go a little bit faster! Although drawing is not a skill James uses often, he was very good at drawing the map because he has a great interest in world geography and with the grid layout acting as a clear guide, it was hard to go wrong! After a while we got a good system going - James drew out vague shapes where the land masses should roughly be, I followed behind him altering the shapes slightly to give a bit more detail and make them slightly more accurate, also giving them proper coastlines and then Cannu and Morning started on the colouring in of completed land masses. James marked the countries so that the boys would know what colours to paint them; we had 4 colours to work with (yellow, orange, purple and green) and we tried to make each country a different colour to it's neighbour. This was purely to make it easier to tell each separate country apart and we soon painted the border lines between each country black which gave further definition.
For those of us who were painting, the next stage after gathering the necessary tools was cleaning.
The surface had to be cleaned properly for the paint to look it's best. The walls, although from far away looked white, up close you could see that they were covered in orangey dust, dirty hand prints, pencil scribbles and all sorts of unidentifiable marks. The cleaning might not seem like a very important stage, It would be easy to think "Oh it's OK, once the bright colours of the mural are on the wall the dirt will be hidden." but this would not be a wise approach. If we didn't clean the walls first the paint would have gotten contaminated with dust and wouldn't be the pure cream colour we wanted. The finished mural wouldn't have had a smooth surface as the lumps of sticky stuff were raised and uneven and the pencil scribbles would have shone through the paler shades of the dry paint. I think often we can take this attitude in life - the idea that we don't have to deal with dirt, it can just be covered up!
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Here you can keep track of current projects, find insight to the thoughts behind some of the work on display and hear about various upcoming events.