Young artist has a passion for painting GREGGCHAMBERLAIN

fer not just a regular place where artists can work but also specialized classes for both adults and children on a variety of arts, from painting to sculpture and pottery, along with a ready-to-hand supply of materials and equipment. Anderson began attending regular ses- sions at 4Cats this past January outside of his regular school classes in Hammond. He began painting when he was seven and it soon became obvious to his parents that painting was more than just a fun way for Kirk to spend an afternoon getting messy. “I started to realize that I like painting,” he said. “It feels calm to me, quiet. If you get paint on yourself, it’s no big deal.” Most of Kirk’s work is in acrylic. His favou- rite colour is gold. “It’s really nice and has this ‘treasure’ look to it.” At 4Cats Kirk and the other child artists all take part in a “free drawing” session first be- fore they are allowed to move on to what- ever current art project they have on the go or to start another work if they want to do

so. The free drawing sessions allow Kirk to let his imagination loose, though his imag- es may also incorporate actual knowledge of things he has either observed himself at firsthand or seen on T.V. in science and doc- umentary programs. “I just draw certain things, like pictures of whirlpools. A whirlpool is like a tornado un- derwater.” There are certain aspects to some of the art he sees at 4Cats that he enjoys most of all and tries to include in his own work. “I really like texture in a painting,” he said. “It feels more like a three-dee object.” He also really likes Jackson Pollock, the American artist and creator of the “drip painting” style in abstract expressionism. Pollock is one of several artists whose meth- ods and styles young Kirk has studied and then tried to reproduce as he experiments with and develops his own unique artistic expression.

“It’s all crazy paint,”he said about Pollock’s style. “Mine’s pretty good. When I finished, I found I was holding it upside down.” He smiles when he recalls how his own Pollock-inspired piece fooled him. Then he holds up “Ninja Fire”, one of his first paint- ings in his own personal style. It’s a colour- ful abstract piece, with fluid greens and golds the predominant colours. One of his largest pieces, a scene featur- ing irises against a blue background, is on auction at Pope John Paul II School as a fundraiser for autism research. He created the piece last month just in time for April, which is autism awareness month through- out Canada. At last count the bidding on the painting just from within the school was just closing in on the $70 mark. Those interested in ac- quiring a Kirk Anderson original now while the price is right should call the school at 613-487-3075 and get their bids in.

HAMMOND | Jackson Pollock. Henri Matisse. Claude Monet. Lawren Harris. Some day soon maybe Kirk Anderson will see his name and works in company with these famous American, French, and Ca- nadian artists. The eight-year-old student at Pope John Paul II Catholic Elementary School may very well be an artistic prodigy. He already drops the names of these artists, among others, along with casual comments about what he likes about their styles as he explains why painting is as natural as breathing for him. “My teachers told me stories of all these painters,” he said. “You always have to know the painters.” Anderson’s teachers, in this case, are the people who run the 4Cats Arts Studio in downtown Ottawa, part of the 4Cats inter- national franchise of arts studios which of-

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Kirk Anderson presents a selection of some of his artistic works, including “Ninja Fire”, the piece he holds in his hands which is in his own developing style. In the fore- ground is a piece he created as an experiment in simulating the impressionistic style of Monet.

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