A winning draw

Pg 4 Winning Draw Maddie Hayes pictured with her still life arrangement

Six-year-old Maddie Hayes, a pupil at the Sandymount School of Art, has beaten off thousands of competitors to scoop top prize in her category of this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition. Maddie’s work, titled Lemon World, was successfully entered into the Six Years and Younger category of the 32-counties competition, now in its 59th year, along with 2,641 competing entries.

The win has delighted Triona Sweeney, a former N.C.A.D student who founded the school in 2007. As well as running the school, Triona teaches and supervises every class herself and is familiar with young Maddie’s talent. “An adorable child”, is how she describes her winning pupil. “Most of our students are seven upwards, but Maddie was so excited about taking a class she couldn’t wait any longer,” Triona tells NewsFour.

When Maddie expressed her wish to enter this year’s competition, Triona was eager to help. “We started by finding some objects that were in the studio, the jug and lemons you see in the picture,” she says. “Maddie chose a background colour and we set them up in front of it. First she drew a rough outline in pencil before choosing her materials; chalk pastel on sugar paper.”

Triona informs NewsFour about the ethos of her school. “Everything is based on creativity,” she says. “Classes are purposely kept very small so I can focus on the individual.”
The school runs classes for both children and adults, with after-school classes for kids and morning and evening classes for grown-ups.

Triona tells us she uses the same approach for all her pupils, regardless of age. “I teach my pupils to express themselves,” she says. “I develop their observational skills, rather than simply teaching the various techniques. This results in a variety of styles, based on the individual’s creativity.”
Triona believes expressing yourself through art can be of benefit to everyone, even those not naturally gifted in the field. “Developing your creativity allows you to see what others can’t,” she says. “It’s a skill that’s useful in every field of life.”

The Sandymount School of Art is located on London Bridge Road and can be contacted on 01 6678023 or info@sandymountart.ie

Above: Maddie Hayes and, inset, her winning entry Lemon World.

By Eric Hillis