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Meet the 12-year-old girl using art to fight hunger in Houston

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas, decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community.

Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community.
Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“The first time I got into art was when I was about 5. I’ve loved art since I was a little kid. I love to paint, draw and use a lot of different art mediums,” said Goel.

After the start of the pandemic, Goel decided to share her gift with other kids to help them stay busy and learn new things while they were at home. She created a digital flyer, and with the help of her mom, shared it on social media to get the word out.

Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community.
Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“I had a couple of different lessons to offer, some for older kids and some for younger, so there’s a variety of things that you can choose from,” said Goel.

And the best part was the lessons were 100% virtual, making it safe and convenient for both Goel and her students. And though she loved teaching, Goel had a bigger mission in mind when starting this endeavor.

“I noticed a need when people started losing their jobs, and they wouldn’t be able to provide enough food. So, I thought it would be a good idea to donate to the Houston Food Bank,” said Goel.

Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community.
Many people have picked up new hobbies during the pandemic. Ria Goel, a 12-year-old girl from Friendswood, Texas decided to take her passion for art and turn it into a way to give back to the community. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Goel raised $500 in total through her virtual art lessons, which allowed her to help serve 1,500 meals to those in need.

“It was a good feeling because I knew that I raised it by myself, and I donated it so that it could help other people,” said Goel. “But, it felt nice to actually hold that big check and give it to the Houston Food Bank.”

Through her efforts, Goel hopes others will not only learn art skills, but also to have a charitable spirit.

“Think about people around you that are less fortunate and think what you could do to help them,” said Goel.

Ria also taught “Houston Life” co-host Courtney Zavala and KPRC 2 Sports Anchor Randy McIlvoy how to paint a Christmas tree. Follow the steps below to try it at home.

12-year-old art teacher Ria Goel shares step-by-step guide on how to paint a Christmas tree with acrylic paint.
12-year-old art teacher Ria Goel shares step-by-step guide on how to paint a Christmas tree with acrylic paint. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOW TO PAINT A CHRISTMAS TREE

You will need:

  • Acrylic paints in colors blue, white and green
  • A fan brush
  • A wide flat brush or sponge paint brush
  • Painter’s palette (can use a plate)
  • Cardstock or paper or other surface to paint on

Directions:

  1. Dip the sponge brush or wide flat brush in your blue paint
  2. Use horizontal strokes starting at the top of the page
  3. Fade this with the white paint to create an ombré effect
  4. Continue blending the blue and white about 3/4 down the page
  5. Create a snow hill in the remaining 1/4 of the page with white paint, making the top of the hill slightly uneven
  6. Use a hair dryer to dry the background before the next step
  7. Prep the fan brush by dipping in water and tapping it dry
  8. Dip the fan brush in green paint and stroke it on your palette so it’s evenly dispersed on bristles
  9. Start the tree at the top of the page by making a small vertical line with the corner of the brush
  10. Next, hold your brush horizontally and softly tap the tip to create horizontal strokes
  11. Work in a zigzag pattern, ensuring your tree is more narrow at the top and wide at the bottom like a triangle
  12. Use a hair dryer to dry the tree before the next step
  13. Thoroughly clean your fan brush before dipping in white paint
  14. Using the white paint, repeat steps 10 - 11
  15. Add as little or as much snow as you like
  16. Dry and admire your work!

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