Art class lessons

As many of you know from our last newsletter (what!? you didn’t get our last update? let us know if you want it! :)), I’ve been taking an art class once a week.  It’s a great opportunity to practice my Arabic and to build relationships, but I think more than anything, I am gaining a wealth of insight into Lebanese culture.  At first, it was honestly a pretty frustrating experience, but I’m really starting to enjoy it now.

So, I thought I’d share some of the projects we’ve done as well as the lessons I learned…

The way you are educated as a child is most likely the way you will learn for life.  In Lebanon, the kids often learn through memorization and drills.  I knew this from working with the girls, but was very surprised how it manifested itself in an adult art class.  This painting was done with a stencil that I was not allowed to put anywhere but the center of the canvas, and the colors were chosen for me. (And everyone loved it so much they displayed it at the graduation!)

The way to makes something look good is to cover it with gold.  Lebanese ladies love gold!  I was the only one whose box wasn’t completely covered in gold paint.  I actually don’t love how mine turned out, and everyone suggested that to fix it I needed to add some gold glitter paint.  I finally gave in and did the swirls on top in gold, although I came home and covered them up with more green.

It’s sometimes better to ask for forgiveness than for permission!  I’ll save the story of this mirror for later, but will just say that when I left class the first day, my mirror had vines and a flamingo on it.  And this is the finished product.  :)

Isla comes with me to class, and I could go on and on about all the different things I’ve learned about how to take care of the baby the Lebanese way, but that’s a whole post in itself!

posted by: nicolette

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