Warwick first-grader Christopher Casale is only 6 years old, but his art career is off to a good start. Christopher, who has been taking private art lessons for about a year, already has had two of his paintings in public displays.
Christopher currently has a framed painting of apples in a wooden basket on display at The Jolly Onion in Pine Island. The oil pastels work features red, green and yellow apples in a wooden basket with a blue background.
‘It definitely fit into the concept of what we’re doing’
“The moment we saw it on Facebook we said that’s a really good painting and we should hang it up in the restaurant,” said The Jolly Onion chef Armand Vanderstigchel. “It definitely fit into the concept of what we’re doing, which is promoting the region’s agricultural bounty and also showcasing local artists. So right away I said bring it in.”
Previously, a painting Christopher created of Harry Potter was hanging in the gallery at the Greenwood Lake Public Library.
“Christopher is a gifted young artist,” said his first grade Distance Learning Academy teacher Donna Berghahn. “He works hard to create original pieces of art that reflect his own personal style. It’s exciting to see a 6-year-old so engaged in the art world.”
In his school art class, Christopher has been doing crafts with paper as well as drawing pumpkins and apples with crayons. Every Tuesday he takes art lessons at Pure Vida Art in Warwick. Christopher creates the drawings and paintings in his room, which features an art desk along with what he described as “tons of canvases, paints and acrylic pencils.”
Berghahn gets to see her students’ artwork when they share it in her Google classroom. Each student has the opportunity to hold up their art for the others and Berghahn to see.
“Everybody takes a turn sharing and give everybody a compliment and a mention something we like about it, or something we observe, or we can ask a question, too” she said. “It helps foster relationships and gives everybody some self-esteem.”
Inspiration found in the art of Bob Ross
In addition to the art class in school, Christopher also does directed drawing with Berghahn’s class. “Last week we drew math monsters, and Chris made some really cute little monsters,” Berghahn said. “He also does great illustrations when he writes stories for me.”
Christopher said he might want to become an artist someday, just like his favorite painter Bob Ross – the longtime creator and host the PBS show “Joy of Painting.”
“I like his paintings because they give me ideas,” said Christopher, who has done a painting of mountains in the Bob Ross style.
Christopher’s favorite among his own artwork is a painting of a spooky tree. The tree is black and its curving branches encircle the moon, which is white on the left and shades of purple on the right.
“We used a blending brush to blend it,” Christopher explained. “We did white on one side and dark purple on the other, and then we blended it in the middle to make it look like a bright purple.”
The sky in the painting is vivid pink and blue with dots of white stars.
Christopher said his favorite subject in school is science. Besides painting and drawing, he also enjoys playing basketball and baseball and riding his dirt bike.