Saturday, June 20, 2009

Don-Paul Benjamin, cartoonist, proved to be a great teacher and artist

Mesa County Libraries did it up right when theyinvited Don-Paul Benjamin to travel to all their library branches, Fruita, Central, Clifton, Orchard Mesa and DeBeque, and teach cartooning.
This caroonist-author-illustrator, describes himself as a freelance cartoonist.
'I have been working as a visiting artist in the Arizona public school system for ten years," he said. "I teach cartooning and story illustration to children, kindergarten through middle school.
My instruction in creative cartooning features lively activities that encourage students to expand their drawing skills through hands-on-experiences and guided practice.
"I have used my instructional skills and sense of humor to teach cartooning in classrooms, art centers and public libraries. My basic instruction covers cartoon facial features, the cartoon body, props, actions and captions."

Handing out white boards, paper and pencils with erasers, the scene was set for some interesting learning. Benjamin drew the capital letter "A" on the blackboard as he related that his father, a carpenter, helped him
learn to take the simple and make something of it.
"My father would bring home paper printed on one side from work. He folded it in fours," he said. "Then my mother sewed the sheets together and I had a sketch book.
"My father gave me a few hints and soon I was filling the sketch books with thousands of drawings. I still have many of them."
His technique of drawing a witch was simple and very clearly demonstrated as he guided the audience in each step.
Even the six year old students from art camp number three, were able to follow successfully as he used great techniques for attention and memory.
He noted that he couldn't make it on drawing so he used his teaching degree from the University of Northern Colorado to teach, then hone in on a fool proof means of teaching others this skill.
Living in Yuma, Arizona, he finds that
he is able to teach year 'round. He contacts libraries, art centers and other possible venues where his skills are put to good use.

Art camp was grateful to receive a copy of a drawing he created and signed.

Thanks, Mesa county Library.

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