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S.J. San Juan at APD's free Summer Camp


Look at the incredible paintings Austin artist S.J. San Juan created with help of the students at Austin Police Department's Summer Youth Leadership Program. S.J. shared his painting process step by step each week during the free month long camp. Before the canvases arrived at the school he'd applied a runny wash of red oxide, divided the painting into a grid and sketched the lines in every other square leaving the rest blank for the students to fill in. On the floor in front of the canvases are the photos. The students were painting from photographs, each one divided into he same grid. The sudents would grab a photo, find it on the painting, then draw the lines they see in that section.

Before the next week's lesson S.J. spent countless hours painting, adding the highlights and starting apply color to some of the sections on stage in the cafeteria while the students were eating breakfast and lunch so they could see the process between their weekly sessions working on the paintings.

Week 2 the students added color. Yellow and black make green in S.J.'s color palette. He doesn't use blue. There was a paint mixing lesson then students grabbed a photo again and this time added color to the sections. At the end of the session S.J. surprised everyone in the room as he removed some of the fresh paint with runny water before it dried. He did this to reveal some of the lines the students drew week 1. It gives the final painting a cool transparent, drippy, watery effect. Everyone is curious now to see how this artwork will look completed.

Again S.J. spent breakfasts and lunch of week 3 painting as students watched, asked questions and learned. During week 4 he completed the artwork and it was revealed to the students, parents, Officers and special guests when they returned from their 3 day filed trip to Ft. Hood to their Graduation Ceremony. Surprise! We set an art gallery up on stage with S.J. paintings, Hallie Rae Ward's mixed media pieces and the Coloring Cards the students drew.

Thank for S.J. San Juan! We are grateful you volunteered to do this amazing project with Share Art Heal at Austin Police Department's free month long Summer Youth Leadership Program. You are inspiring these artists and leaders. You are a leader in the Austin art community. We love you!

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