Hey Everyone! I see it's been a while since I posted a new blog entry. I figure it's time to give an update as to the work that has been keeping me busy! One thing that has been keeping me occupied has been my weekly teaching job at Courtland Public School. This is such a great little small-town school. The students and teachers are are wonderful. At Courtland I have been facilitating classes with the Kindergartens, Grade 1/2, Grade 3, Grade 5, Grade 6, and Grade 8 classes (and beginning in January I will be teaching the same lessons to the rest of the school). They have completed watercolour paintings, collaborative collages (well, they've done their part of the collage - I have to do mine now and assemble all of it), and are currently working on finishing up their paper mache sculptures (in addition to other random warm-up exercises/small projects). Once again, as when I was teaching with my OAC AIE Grant in 2016-2017, I am learning so much about teaching in general and managing a classroom of students with different ages and varying abilities. And I am amazed by teachers and all the hard work they put into teaching and into their students on a daily basis.
Once a week in my art studio I also teach art lessons to adults. I have learned so much through this experience, and it stretches me and inspires me to grow as an artist and as a teacher. I have learned so much from the people I teach, and I always look forward to our weekly lessons.
I have been also busy working on various commissions - most of which I cannot share images of as many of them are gifts for Christmas time ;) But I can share this image of a painting I finished in October. I am currently booked till approximately June/July 2019 with commissioned paintings.
Lastly, as I have the spare work time, I've been working on a few beach paintings. I began painting beach scenes in the summer when I wanted to try painting something 'different' (different for me). I quickly fell in love with this subject matter, as I absolutely love spending time at our beautiful local beach on Lake Erie. I personally find it so peaceful and relaxing just sitting on the sand, listening to the waves and feeling the warmth of the sun. My computer is now full of photos that I took to use as references for future paintings.
Take care! Thank-you for your interest in my work :) .
I'm excited to share that I will be partnering with the Courtland Public School during the 2018-2019 school year to teach a series of art lessons to all of the students. So much to look forward to!
This past Sunday, June the 3rd, was the opening reception for my shared exhibition with Heather Verplanke at the Waterford Old Town Hall. What a great party! I'm so grateful for all of the incredible support from friends and family.
A couple weeks ago I began to tackle this drawing. I fell in love with this photo when I came across it last year. It depicts a choir in Paraguay in the late 40's. Both my Oma and Opa were in this choir, and it is because of this choir that they met and fell in love. They toured all around their region. Music is important in my family, thanks to the influence of both my Oma and Opa.
My family recently enjoyed a wonderful week away at Long Point Park. Of all our friends who camped with us (7 other families), we were the only crazy ones who camp the 'old fashioned' way... with tents and cooking over the open fire! I enjoyed working on this drawing.. which is of a very special photo that my family treasures. I will be using this image for a new painting in my upcoming series.
Recently two of my watercolours were published in The Herald, which is a magazine of the Mennonite Brethren Church denomination.
Over the course of this lazy summer I have been preparing for my new series, which will be featured in an exhibition next May. The purpose of these sketch certainly isn't for accuracy, but rather a chance for me to think about colours and composition. For me, the new series I'm planning is about acknowledging and celebrating my family's heritage. Losing the older generation is a great loss to me, as it seems to be one less 'tie' I have to my history - a rich history that I value. I see that in some ways, the expression of my Mennonite roots are fading with each new generation. I realize this is to be expected, yet I'm still saddened by it. I'm thankful for the sacrifices my ancestors made. I'm thankful for the faith and values they upheld. I'm thankful for the way they valued family and social get-togethers and the importance of a wonderful home cooked meal!
After a tough week/weekend, it was good to get in some studio time. I was thinking today about how it use to be a fun 'debate' in my Klassen family about who our family's propensity for the arts came from - Grandma or Grandpa. I see clearly now that it came from both. My Grandma was so creative in the kitchen, the gardens, at the sewing machine, and with us grandkids at the table making numerous crafts. I find it tough having lost both of my Klassen Grandparents now, but after the funeral service for my Grams yesterday, I see how their legacy is being passed on in my Aunts and Uncles, my cousins, my brother, and my parents -- a legacy of faith and love, a passion for good food and humour, and the enjoyment and practice of so many different art forms
I live in Southern Ontario on a farm with my husband, Dennis, and our two daughters. Painting out of my studio on our farm allows me to stay close to my family and to be surrounded by the natural landscape that continues to influence my work.