New Years & Rita’s Art Workshop


Rita Winkler

New Years & Rita’s Art Workshop

by Rita
Excerpted from DANI Days
Volume 199
January 10, 2024

New Years
By Rita

I would like to talk about some of my highlights of the year. I like doing
the Fashion program with Heally. I like the Drama program with
Ashleigh. I like doing Girl’s Group. I like to hang out with my friends and
get drinks with Marina. I like doing the lunch prep program. It is my work
placement at DANI. I like doing the World of Disney program with
Rachel W. The DANI program is ending for 2023! We had fun with our
DANI programs this year with our friends and the staff.

At the end of this year, I had a DANI workshop to teach my friends how
to paint with watercolours. I was the teacher to lead the DANI
workshop. I saw everybody’s wonderful artwork. This year, our art
theme is Under the Sea creatures. Dori really liked the art class. My
DANI friends enjoyed the DANI workshop. I taught Talya, Lauren H.,
Michael, Donalad, Jayant, Aliza, Dori and Josh. We had so much tun at
the workshop.

I would like to say a big thank you to the DANI staff Leo,
Marina, Tammy and Roy. Thank you for helping me and my DANI
friends! I would also like to say thank you to Tammy for helping me out
with the Powerpoint.

I would like to talk about what I wish for the new year in 2024. I wish to
make more tuna sandwiches in my work placement. I wish to do more
Drama for Finding Nemo with Ashleigh. I wish to do more dancing with
Heally. I wish to do more spelling at the DANI program. I wish to do Cafe
Conversation with Meghan. I wish to talk to my friends on Instagram. I
wish to do more DANI activities like Sports with Leo. I wish to talk about
calendars and dates with Meghan. I wish to keep checking in my
notebook how much money I’ve spent with with Girl’s Group

Rita’s Art Workshop
By Helen Winkler, Rita’s Mother

Editor’s Note: At DANI, we are so proud to have our own resident artist, Rita! Recently, Rita had the
opportunity to lead her very own watercolour painting workshop for her friends our at Magnetic Campus!

Special thanks to Rita’s mother Helen for sharing this about the experience:

People tell me that Rita’s unexpected vocation as an artist is their favourite pandemic story. It all started with the DANI online art classes during covid. I sat in on them as Rita’s helper and all of sudden I could see the approach that Anna was using to break down the art creation into teachable steps—and I began to understand how this could be applied to Rita’s artmaking.

We were having so much fun that I looked for another virtual art class to join and found one with Karina Viovy/L’Arche London—that introduced us to watercolours. I have no art background so knew nothing about any of this. Step by step we worked on watercolours and over time, I came to understand how Rita’s mind works—what she finds confusing—what she finds easy and what comes naturally to her. Through this experience, Rita developed her watercolour style and I came up with a number of different processes that I began to document on Rita’s website .

When Tammy at Magnetic suggested Rita lead an art class with her friends at Magnetic we agreed. Rita rehearsed her teaching program several times (she called these “dress rehearsals”). We decided to utilize paper templates and crayon resist watercolour painting with Tammy prepping the materials in advance. The big day arrived–the teaching plan was on the Smartboard at DANI and the class began. Rita was very busy explaining the lesson with Tammy as support, circulating and checking on how her friends were doing and doing some painting herself.

Everyone was very intent on their work with each person painting in their own way—which I think is the crux of the art approach in general. They enjoyed it so much that Tammy suggested we do yet another painting to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Rita was very happy and proud to have this experience and looks forward to doing it again one day. I thank DANI for giving her a chance to spread her wings and also her uncle Mark Winkler for supporting Rita’s art journey as well, in so many ways.