‘Fluid, fun and enjoyable’

Artist Elida Field wants to give children a lifetime love of art

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All classes are held at the JD Zellerbach District Administration Building, 841 N.E. 22nd Ave. Courses are $135 and designed for kids in first through sixth grade. To register, visit www.camascommunityed.org.

o Winged Creatures: Students will create birds, butterflies, fairies and dragons. Class runs Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Aug. 10 to 13.

o Pirates of the Caribbean: Sea creatures, mermaids and a treasure map are among some of the items that will be created. Class runs Monday through Thursday, Aug. 17 to 20.

o Around the World: Students will explore four different regions with painting, drawing and sculpting. Class runs Monday through Thursday, Aug. 24 to 27.

"I love doing art and my mom and dad say that I am very artistic. I want to be an artist when I grow up."

-- Alyssa Dawson

All classes are held at the JD Zellerbach District Administration Building, 841 N.E. 22nd Ave. Courses are $135 and designed for kids in first through sixth grade. To register, visit www.camascommunityed.org.

o Winged Creatures: Students will create birds, butterflies, fairies and dragons. Class runs Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Aug. 10 to 13.

o Pirates of the Caribbean: Sea creatures, mermaids and a treasure map are among some of the items that will be created. Class runs Monday through Thursday, Aug. 17 to 20.

o Around the World: Students will explore four different regions with painting, drawing and sculpting. Class runs Monday through Thursday, Aug. 24 to 27.

There are only three rules in Elida Field’s art classes for kids.

“No one ever dies in art class,” she joked. “So if you do something you don’t think is perfect, that’s fine. Two, there are no mistakes in art, just different directions. Three, we have to have fun.”

Field, a Camas artist, has been teaching Art Van Go kids classes for the past three years through Camas Community Education.

“I love doing art and my mom and dad say that I am very artistic. I want to be an artist when I grow up.”

— Alyssa Dawson

“I try to theme my classes based on the season,” she said. “Today, we are painting minions with acrylics, which isn’t really seasonal but I thought it would be fun. Other times, we’ll paint snowmen for winter or birdhouses in the spring.”

Field moves around the room and answers questions from her students at the same time she mixes paints.

“You can’t mess this one up,” she said. “Minions are supposed to look goofy.”

Several students are return attendees, such as Dorothy Fox Elementary fourth-grader Stef Valent-Musleh.

“I have always liked art,” she said. “My mom signed me up in first grade for the classes and I keep coming back. It is always something fun and different. I really like painting because we focus on one specific thing during class. Ms. Elida’s classes are always fun.”

Field jokes that she sometimes gauges her classes by Valent-Musleh’s reactions.

“She’s been with me for several years and remembers all the projects so I know if I’ve done one too many times,” she said.

Another returning student is Grass Valley Elementary fifth-grader Kelsey Osmus.

“I like painting, but drawing is my favorite,” she said. “I really enjoy the shading. Ms. Elida’s classes are fun because it’s always a different activity. Every week it is a surprise. She always has a good sense of humor, too.”

Woodburn Elementary second-grader Alyssa Dawson enjoys mixing colors in painting and creating different artwork.

“I love doing art and my mom and dad say that I am very artistic,” she said. “I want to be an artist when I grow up. Also, Ms. Elida is very funny and she surprises us with new things to do.”

Field noted that the best part about teaching art to children is that they don’t have preconceived ideas.

“They will just go for it,” she said. “Adults think they’re not good at art, or heard a teacher tell them to do it a certain way. Kids are easier, they are willing to try new things and are excited to create.”

Field believes that everyone is designed to create.

“I expose them to a lot of different mediums,” she said. “I am light on the technical side and focus more on the experience. Art should be fluid, fun and enjoyable. There are no mistakes. I want to let them create their own piece.”

Field also aims to give students a positive experience.

“My hope is that as they get older, they don’t have negative ideas about it,” she said. “I want them to have positive memories. Being able to teach these classes through Community Education is a great partnership.”

Field noted that her classes are beginning to draw attendees from outside of Camas.

“I love it that we are having more art happening in the community,” she said. “When I see a kid at school and they remember my class, and are happy about art, it’s exciting.”

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