Teens who signed up for the Mentorship Programme with Artists from the Fine Arts Society of Milton at the First Ontario Art Centre in March 2019 expressed their need for their mentors to take time to give tips, correct mistakes and offer encouragement.This year for 4 Sunday afternoons the volunteer mentors from FASM were: leader Ursula McDermid- acrylic painter and pastellist; Kirsty Rutter-acrylics; Jenny Panda- acrylics, mixed media and illustration.During the sessions, other artists joined the group: Shelley Prior-water colourist, Linda Johnston-fabric art and sewing and Louise Botha -painter, art as therapy, art as a career.

This year the teens chose to work in: Fabric; Acrylics; Pencil; Ink; Watercolour and Oils.

Most of the teens in the mentoring programme agree that their best inspiration comes from their Moms.

“My Mom inspires me and her Mom,” said 15 year old Shiuli Khanna, whose vividly flowing acrylic painting is of a dancer. She is already skilful in blending her colours and her vibrant oranges, reds and yellows swirl with movement.“I feel calm and stress free when doing art. I plan my art and make sketches. I choose colours as I go and like to put it straight from tube to canvas and combine them there. I like to express myself with colours, and love doing it. I’m not sure how Art will fit into my future.”


16 year old Ellie Shim said “I feel free when I do art. I’m not that good at communicating my feelings. Art helps me to do that on paper. With this piece,” she explained, “I challenged myself. I usually do faces with no expression.” Her large detailed artwork in ink and pencil is a laughing face with flowering antlers. “I’ll feel very accomplished and satisfied when I finish this as I usually don’t do big pix. I usually think of something and map it out in pencil first.” She believes that artists have a big role in society. Without Art: architecture, illustrations, fashion, wouldn’t happen. “Art is everywhere!”

The teens like to listen to a wide range of music when they create: soft rock; ballads; alternative rock; live rock from the 50s; pop songs, especially according to Aaron MacMullen, that of his favourite, Ariana Grande.

17 year old Aaron is skilful with the sewing machine and he designs exquisite clothes using bendable dolls as models. These he places in display canvases to produce interesting effects. He has also

experimented with sculpture using fabric medium. He said: “I feel happy, excited, calm- when doing art- depending on what I’m making. I like to try something new. I feel impressed and happy when

I’ve done a piece. I look at the fabric for inspiration. I love doing small things.”

Fern Johnson feels free doing art. “When it’s done”, referring to her colourful watercolour of her cat Klinger, she believes that she will feel a sense of accomplishment. “Art feels right.” Fern said, “I hope in the future to go into teaching or healing and I want to write a children’s book.” A second painting that she enjoyed creating is a dramatic view of a peaceful lake.

Spencer Rusk at 14 was the youngest of the group this year. He skilfully produced a meticulously detailed drawing of a 1960s Ford Edsel. He wants to design cars in the future and certainly is developing the skills to be proficient at this. “I feel relaxed when doing art. I go by what I see. I love cars.” he said.

Spencer observed that artists express Art in society and give a feeling of what life is like in the present time.

Since 2015, several skilled artists from a variety of art disciplines have taken part in the mentorship programme: acrylics, oil, watercolour, fabric, drawing, mixed media and photography. Approximately

100 Halton students of 13 to 17 years have participated during that time. Their work always culminates in an art show.

This year the 2019 Teen ‘EXPLOSION’ show will be hung in the FASM Gallery in the Milton Mall for 3 weeks from March 23rd when an opening reception will be held at the gallery from 2 to 4pm. All are welcome to view the powerful results.

In 2020, the mentorship programme will be offered in February. Information will be available by contacting FASM at: fasminfo@gmail.com. Do sign up! It’s worth it!

FASM hopes corporate sponsors will help to support this inspirational opportunity for Halton’s teens.


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