In February I officially launched my business Crash Course in Art History – Art Parties for Grownups. The first event was a success, the feedback good, more parties planned and booked. It was an exciting venture for me as I was able to share all this Art History information and How To knowledge with friends, their friends, soon to be friends and the broader public. I had a wee mention on BBC6 Music during their #itsbusinesstime segment. Hearing Lauren Laverne read to the nation about my business and my art was such a wonderful thing.
And soon after, I lost my teaching job due to budget cuts. The week after I saw on the news that Ireland were closing their schools. The week after that I took my 6 year old out of school, three days before they were officially closed.
So much change in only a matter of three weeks. How do you survive that? How has anyone been surviving this? And so I did what I knew I needed to do to cope. I pressed on. The thing is, I know for me, I thrive with structure. I thrive when there are events to look forward to, classes to plan, art to make. It has been a long journey to understand these things about myself and I am glad to have figured this out before the lockdown shut us down.
The learning curve was sharp and climbed up quickly. I had to learn how to use zoom, how to teach from a live setting to an online setting (not too difficult as I had already had teaching experience with myonlineschooling.com). My website was updated with extra pages for online teaching. I rolled out my Saturday morning art sessions for grown ups and am happy to report that the people in the group taking part are absolutely shining and wonderful. It lifts my heart to see their faces on a Saturday morning. If you would like to know more about these sessions please visit the Crash Course in Art History page. The classes are set up so that the first 15-20 minutes is all about settling in, getting our cups of tea and learning Art History then the rest of the time is spent with me leading the group through an art making project.
A couple of weeks I also launched art lessons for children. Some of these sessions are private group where a class meet up on zoom and we all learn about art and make art together. This Thursday I am starting my Drop-In art session for children ages 6 – 12. You can find that information on good ‘ol eventbrite. I call it Art with Cassandra (imaginative, yes?). It would be lovely to see who stops by. The lessons are created to follow the curriculum and should be self sufficient enough to engage the children so that parents can have a little break. This is an additional aim. I think we all need time to step away from the demands and rest our minds.
Honestly, this is the best schedule I have had in years. I am helping L along with her studies (minus Science and Maths, left up to someone else to take those on), we exercise, go on bike rides, play in the garden and bake. There are so many things about this lockdown that I am loving. What I am not loving is the constant low level anxiety whenever I need to go to the shops (am soon switching to either Click and Collect or Schop).
There is also a lot happening with my artwork, however I will save that update for another day.
Stay well, everyone.