During my stay at Wat Opot Community one of my favourite activities was to do painting and drawing with the children and especially with the younger ones.
Hoeut Rint is the art teacher and he teaches art to the older children on Sundays and he is an amazing artist.
Some of his work is displayed in the art gallery at Wat Opot and looking at his abilities he would be a famous artist in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world, but Hoeut is happy to teach and in that way help to develop the talent in the young people living at Wat Opot.
I had only a little time to work and play with the younger children and was so inspired by their joy to express themselves with pencils and paint.
One Sunday morning I was sketching the rice planters nearby and had my paints, brushes and pencils spread on the ground.
Tai Meng was sitting next to me and just observing what I was doing.
I gave her paper and a brush, but she wasn't sure what to do, so I continued my sketching.
I felt her watching me closely and then she started to draw and with every stroke her confidence
grew and her little face expressed joy. Other little ones came over and watched what we were doing and one by one joined in and suddenly there was 'my art class', sitting on the dirt road and painting and drawing with the limited art supplies I had with me.
I had many more opportunities with the children to paint and draw and wish I had more time to develop regular art activities.
Art in any form is a great way to express your feelings, sometimes even more then using words, because it comes from deep within. Not only does it give joy, but it also helps with healing. Then language doesn't need to be a barrier, because visual language says more then words.