Art education

Children get stressed out too – Mindful Art Making – might just make it better.

When I was 10 years old – My grandfather – a VERY talented Artist and Signwriter died. His death affected me a great deal and the impact it had upon me was discussed at length in my Master of Arts thesis (An auto ethnographic narrative inquiry into my lifetime engagement with Art Education and the effect and impact it had upon my life).

At 10 years old, the stress of losing my grandfather, of facing my own and the mortality of others for the very first time made me seriously contemplate suicide. At ten years old – I actually had thoughts about ending my life. Now – obviously I am not the only person on the planet for whom an event such as this has occurred and I do not hesitate for a MOMENT to say that obviously there are people out there who have had far greater ordeals and losses to deal with at an even younger age – but that said – the stress of losing someone so close to me, someone who I had seen every day of my life, who used to draw horses and unicorns on demand, who used to bring us all peppermint cream bars home from his trips down Scotty Road every Sunday and who inspired me to become an artist – well – it had a big impact upon me to say the least and the impact was not a particularly good one.

However, being someone who always looks for the silver lining in the cloud – being an adult who had that experience as a child – means – that I can empathise somewhat with the struggles and strains that some children have to deal with – alongside being students at school. And having had that experience – probably also led me to become interested in the things I am interested in – I don’t doubt for a second the reason I’m an artist is because of losing my grandfather and wanting to emulate him in some way… perhaps now my teaching of yoga, meditation and mindfulness is also linked to having had that experience as a child. Because what if my experience was different? What if I had learned about all of these things before that event had occurred? Would I have been more resilient? Would my neural pathways have been stronger – would I have been better able to cope with the grief, the loss and the stress?


Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation and Mindfulness practices – when eating, interacting with students, making my art work, living my life – ย are practices that have helped GREATLY to make my life far more amazing – WHEN they are practiced REGULARLY. The impact these things have on – my ability to manage stress, my mental/physical and spiritual health and on my general every day outlook on life is immense and I only WISH I’d had the opportunity to learn about these things at an earlier age. I’m almost certain that had these practices been a part of my life before the age of 10 – would I have been able to have coped with life and its sometimes macabre realities in a better way?

So, after completing my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course this summer in Indiaย – I have decided to ‘Revamp’ my offer to schools.

Mindful Art Making is here!ย 

For I am bringing a bit of my newly found Zen into the classroom and I’m about to go and complete the Kidding Around Yoga Course – teaching Yoga to children! WOOHOO

No longer will we ‘just’ make Art – ย we will now also do some movement, some meditation and then we will MAKE OUR ART MINDFULLY and we will ALL learn some new and beautiful coping mechanisms to make us stronger as we battle through this thing we call life!

Get ready 2018 – Jennyanne Arts is back and she is bringing Zennyanne Creates with her!

As I currently train artists to work with children and families – why not get me to train your teachers to teach MINDFUL MAKING and Yoga too! OOOOOh now THERE is an idea! ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 


Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 20.07.58

David Sharkey – Liverpools Three Graces – Oil on Board – probably done in the 1940’s… I’m not entirely sure! :S ย  ย  ย 07793020000 ย  ย  ย


Art education

Paul Klee, Ninjas and nuances of life :)

File 19-10-2017, 16 27 56

Moments like this – are what truly make life magical.ย 

Days like this make me thankful I had the courage to follow my passion to become an artist and to work in education. The journey to this moment was not necessarily an easy one – times have been hard on occasion JUST like everyone else – however – all of the struggle, all of the debt, all of the failures and the hardships and the mistakes are lost in the blink of an eye when a moment like this occurs.

On Wednesday I stood back and smiled. So proud of the event that was happening in front of my eyes. It was a privilege to behold.

I was working with my year 2’s at school on ‘The Portrait’. After watching them practice their noses and eyes and mouths, they all went on to create unique and beautiful, quirky portraits of their own. Most of those portraits didn’t make use of the skills they had just learned (and enjoyed learning, and were proud of themselves for learning) – because when they came to make their own portraits I told them that to be an artist is to use your imagination AND at the end of the day – it is to do whatever it is (within the constraints) that you actually want to do – as an artist you always make your own choice. So they did and they created MASTER PIECES – Each and every one of them!

And – as I usually do at the end of my sessions – I offered the children who finished early the chance to doodle or colour in a colouring sheet. My colouring sheets this week were versions of famous portraits.

One boy grabbed one and shouted ‘YES, I’M COLOURING IN THIS NINJA!’

I stood back and watched him colour his ninja, taking real pride in staying within the lines (he also took it downstairs and continued colouring it during wet break time – and this is a boy that is usually running around with LOTS of energy – wanting – constantly – to play ninjas.) – so I enjoyed knowing ‘Art’ – even if only ‘colouring’ had grabbed his attention for a while.

After about 5 minutes of him colouring I asked – ย ‘Would you like to see the original Ninja? The real piece of art that your colouring sheet came from?’ – he wasn’t remotely interested. UNTIL I put Paul Klee’s Senecio in front of his eyes.


THAT MOMENT WAS GOLD! And EVERY TIME that happens it is GOLD! Seeing a child REALLY enthralled by a piece of art, studying it closely, gasping ‘oooooh and aaaah’ – when they make the connection that the thing they are drawing or interested in has something to do with a REAL piece of art work – well – you can’t put a price on that moment and so today – I am giving thanks to the universe for allowing me to be blessed with this FABULOUS thing I call a career!