DERRY — With a few theatrical sweeps of the paint, an image of greatness appeared before their very eyes.
For artist Rob Surette it’s more than just creating a huge painting on a canvas. It’s a chance to honor some of the world’s heroes.
Surette came to South Range Elementary School Nov. 30 as part of an “Amazing Hero Art” assembly.
With almost lightning speed, Surette took to the canvas in a swift motion, creating likenessness of such greats as Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa.
He speed paints thousands of paintings a year as he travels to schools and other locations around the world.
In only a short assembly time at South Range, Surette completed about 10 large faces of heroes as loud, pounding music accompanied his talents.
He often grabbed two brushes to make his massive artwork, jumping back to view what he did and then splashing more detail on the painting.
Surette told students he wanted to inspire them to use their talents to make the world a better place, using the power of positive thinking, respect, compassion and creativity.
“I am here to help you make a difference,” he told the elementary students.
Surette created a massive likeness of Lincoln, then grabbed another large square to begin the next portrait in a wide sweeping motion set to a video of patriotic images and music.
This time, the image took shape quickly and became Mother Teresa.
Surette told students these heroes worked very hard to help others and make a difference in the world.
“And no matter what you look like, you have been invited to participate in this great adventure called life,” Surette said. “Don’t go through life thinking you can’t be great. You can soar like the eagles.”
Surette has visited Derry schools before and often leaves one of his original art pieces to hang in a classroom or hallway.