Watch The Paint Fly At Summer Workshops
An Upper St. Clair artists hopes to bring out the creative side for area youngsters.
Now, this has to sound tempting to children: Watch the Paint Fly.
That's the title that Upper St. Clair artist Francis Cleetus came up for one of his workshops he's instructing this summer. As he assures future students, "As long as you know an artist's brush from a toothbrush, you'll have fun."
Also on his agenda is Toon In to Creativity, which, as you may have guessed, focuses on drawing cartoons.
Cleetus would seem to have impressive credentials to teach both disciplines. As Patch previously reported, he has a mural on display at Phipps Conservatory in Oakland, and in April he launched a book compiling his clever It's-Geek-to-Me cartoons.
"These creative workshops actually came out of the fact that I was an adjunct professor at the Art Institute (of Pittsburgh), where I teach advertising," Cleetus explained. "Three of the Upper St. Clair moms approached me and said, 'Hey, you need to do something for our kids.' So I said, 'Summer, perfect time to start.'"
His friends at Chyten Educational Services on Route 19 offered him the facilities for his endeavors, and his workshops there start the week of July 8.
He has worked with youngster in the community by volunteering at Upper St. Clair High School and Streams Elementary, which his daughters attend.
"I have presented creative sessions to the kids and enjoyed the experience, and the fact that they have the willing suspension of disbelief that comes naturally to them," he said.
That should come in handy as students use their imaginations for working with acrylic paint and coming up with their own cartoons.
A recipient of numerous awards internationally for his advertising projects, Cleetus earned a degree in chemistry but later decided to follow a divergent career path.
"There's an immense amount of satisfaction that comes with doing something creative," he said, "and you can't replace that with anything."
For more information on the worskhops, visit www.cleetuscreative.com.