Over the course of the next few hours, all the classes in the new school came to watch and ask questions. They sat on the floor around me as I put the first layer of colour on the canvas.
"How long have you been an artist?"
"What's your favourite painting?"
"How many brushes do you use?"
They asked lots of great questions, always with their hands straight up in the air (which I rarely saw because I had my back to them). I even asked a few students to come up and help out.
The first stages of a big painting like this always look a little rough. However, the students and staff were very gentle with me and had lots of encouraging words to say. They were kind, just like Elsie.
She was sitting on a bench made from some driftwood that I found on the shore of the Athabasca River when this picture was taken. It was the…