Last week Southwold Primary School invited Steve Brazier to demonstrate his painting technique to each of its six year groups.
Each group had a theme linking art to Radford’s local history such as housing; work; shopping; and diversity.
Steve, a visually impaired Exhibiting Member of NSA, has experience in local history. He was formerly Nottingham City Council’s Assistant Director of Planning. He produced ‘A New Geography of Nottingham’ and lectured at the University Adult Education Centre some years ago.
Examples of Steve’s paintings were passed round. Then with a tablet or smart phone close to his left eye, where some usable sight remains, he reacted to the images each class chose for their theme, working quickly wet-into-wet to stress the importance of free expression and watercolour’s vibrancy.
Before, during and after each session, he was bombarded with questions from children form thirty different ethnic backgrounds:
“What is your favourite painting?”; “Why do you wear two pairs of glasses?”; “Why did you paint this picture?”; “Are you rich?”;
“How do you mix tertiary colours?” stumped him so the 10 year old explained.
The six pieces were more abstract than representational, of course: a freedom welcomed by the audience. “Just splash it on and have fun” . To cries of glee, a spray bottle was deployed and the children described how the colours were mixing.
“Are you an Arter?” a boy asked earnestly. “Yes” said Steve. Not an artist really, perhaps a painter. Yes certainly an Arter.
He says he leaned more than they did and hopes they’ll ask him back