Artists share skills with next generation

Moulding creativity . . . Patrick Harrison (8) lets his creativity flow through pottery with the help of artist Thelma Emslie. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

A shared love of art between artists and two youngsters in Surat Bay has formed a bond like no other.

Local artists Norman Sinclair and Thelma Emslie have been teaching for many years in their own ways, but have recently been helping keen youngsters Maddox and Patrick Harrison, of Owaka, to navigate the ways of the art world.

Mr Sinclair and Ms Emslie have taken on the brothers because of their interests in painting, drawing and pottery.

They live close by, and come along to Mr Sinclair’s home with their mother, Katrina, after school.

‘‘We’ve taught the kids for around 2-3 years so far, just so we had someone to teach, and we cannot believe the skills they both have,’’ Mr Sinclair said.

He taught Maddox painting while Patrick learnt pottery with Ms Emslie.

Their unique abilities had continued to develop over their time together.

‘‘They’re quite incredible young kids who are growing up to be sporty fellas, and we think it’s very cool that they still like coming along for their art lessons with us, even as they age.’’

Mr Sinclair is a contemporary realism painter and Ms Emslie has been teaching art in South Otago her entire adult life.

The artists had created a bond with the youngsters through their love for art and said the boys were an ‘‘inspiration’’ to them and remind them how much fun it was to teach and develop young minds with art and creation.

‘‘We have a lot of fun with the boys.

‘‘Sometimes they won’t always be in the mood to paint, and sometimes they’re more worried about what’s cooking in the oven for our dinner, but they’ve given us a sense of purpose and a reminder of how incredible art really is,’’ Mr Sinclair said.

He joked the boys were always ‘‘keeping them on their toes’’ with their quirks, conversations about politics and school, and comments about using technology.

‘‘We have great banter with the kids and we’re very thankful to be furthering their artistic abilities, although they were talented to begin with.’’

Maddox was off to high school next year but was excited to return during school holidays and continue his lessons.

Patrick was keen to continue learning with clay and pottery.

‘‘We’re very proud of the boys and it’s heartening to see them so keen on art at young ages, as art is ramping back up again everywhere.’’

Brush to paper . . . Maddox Harrison (13) shows off one of his finished products with an approving
smile from artist Norman Sinclair in his Surat Bay home. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN