Children have a keen natural sense of design and composition. At the Farm, we let ourselves be surprised over and over by the beauty and inventiveness of our campers' art works. Even years later, we discuss the accomplishments of the children attracted to the visual arts. "Remember those amazing fish prints done by Haley five years back?" We feel that our role in the visual arts is to foster our campers' native talents and to stay away from the imposition of rigid academic standards. Children already know how to be artists.
The drawing and painting studio is among the most popular spots on The Farm. Flooded with light, slightly elevated on an old rock foundation, the drawing and painting studio provides a panoramic view of the campus. Campers may look out upon the spectacular landscape of the Farm when working or use a set of tables in the interior facing a still life. At any time of day, there are campers in the painting and drawing studio, some pouring over their work in concentrated silence, others chatting casually, listening to music, while counselors are retrieving materials from the supply closets or consulting with a camper about a project.
More often than not, The Farm's animals and natural scenery find their way into the creative efforts of our campers inspiring them to ask questions about the skills necessary for representational drawing and painting. Our instructors offer guidance on the use of a variety of practices, from collage to abstraction, splatter painting to representational approaches. They also introduce the use of traditional as well as experimental surfaces. Campers may work completely independently if they wish or consult with counselors on ideas and the progress of their work.