The Gruffalo Play!

Racoon Art Studio students put together an amazing end of the year presentation of  The Gruffalo. All the puppets, props and backgrounds were made by the students in our “Puppet Theater” and “Be Artsy, Be Crafty” classes. I put together this video afterwards to post on my site. Unfortunately, it’s missing that priceless charm the kids put in the live presentation!

Saturday Morning Art Classes


About 18 months ago I signed up for Saturday morning classes at the Art Student’s League in NYC. There was also a morning class for my son, conveniently, at the same time, so lessening the guilt of abandoning my whole family each weekend. We had an hour drive…the classes were from 9:00-12:30, after which, my husband and daughter would meet us to spend the rest of the day in the city. A pretty sweet arrangement!

The original idea was to take an acrylic painting class, after inheriting a lifetime supply of acrylic paint, illustration boards and brushes. I figured a painting class would be a good way to get me started. However, The League only offered oil painting on Saturdays and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. So instead I picked  pastel painting, to give me time to research the classes and teachers.

Not wanting to spend any extra money on this transitional class, I dug out my Rembrandts, last used 20 years ago, grabbed some drawing supplies, Canson paper and with Sergi in tow, started out our new adventure. I never expected Saturday morning to become the highlight of my week.

I Love everything about the Pastel class: Ellen, our super talented, soft spoken, teacher. The classmates, diverse in painting style, age and ethnicity. Rediscovering Pastels, drawing from a live model, forgetting about everything and letting the feeling of the moment guide my hand.  I understand why there are students who have been with Ellen for 10 years. I look forward to this time…even on the days when the drawing seems to elude me, or when I cannot see the color….I’m just happy to be there…learning and growing.

Then there is the Mommy and me aspect of the drive in. I treasure our breakfast on the go while listening to the radio. Having Sergi by himself, without Lili…..and being able to catch up on our conversations without distractions is priceless.

As of January the League has been having class group shows to showcase the student’s best work in each class. Last week it was our turn. Our wall looked awesome. Ellen selected my pastel of Emily.