It's exciting as a parent to watch your child excel in a special talent... my youngest daughter (8 yrs old) recently spent time with me in my studio. While I was working on my own art project, she worked on her own. She drew out a self portrait (she was looking at a photo), and did so completely unassisted. I couldn't believe how well she did! She had the right proportions and everything.
When it came time to painting, I suggested some paint-mixing tips (i.e. skin colour - mix in a bit of blue with the red and yellow, into white.... for the hair - raw umber and yellow with some of the skin colour...). I was very proud of her results. :)
At the end of May I received the much anticipated news from the Ontario Arts Council that I received the Artists in Education Grant! I've been working on applying for this for close to two years... by building rapport with the local Public School, and gaining experience. Last Fall was intense as I worked on the actual application form. Anyone who is familiar with this application would understand the intensity of this process! It was a great challenge, and it forced me to grow as an artist in so many ways. As a result of this grant I have been approved, and will be funded, to spend approximately 8 hours of class teaching time with each of the 11 classes in the Port Rowan Public School.
The title of my project is "The Field, the Woods, the Wetlands, and the Town". My goal is for the students to take notice of their unique environment, and to reflect that appreciation and observation in the visual arts. I have four mixed media art projects planned. I'm excited for this opportunity! And I'm so grateful to the Ontario Arts Council for this opportunity.
Last week I spent time with the Grade 2 Class in the local public school. The teacher had shared with me her interest in having the students do colourful artwork based on a sunset.
I began the lesson with the students gathered together on the carpet. With some paint chips as props, we discussed the colour wheel, and warm vs. cool colours. Together we separated the paint chips into two piles (warm and cool colours). I showed them how the temperature of colours are very much 'relative'; they 'change' according to the colours they are paired up with. For example, purple is generally considered a 'cooler' colour. Especially when set beside red (because purple has blue in it - a cool colour). When purple, though, is set beside blue, purple becomes then the warmer colour of the two (because of the red in it).
The children were to begin their project by separating their crayons (or pencil crayons, or markers) into two piles: the warm or cool colours. Then they divided their paper into half - the top half for the warm sunset, the bottom half for the cool ground. Using a pencil they drew line designs that they then filled with colour.
I wanted to do paper mache trees with the Grade 2 class, and their teacher needed them to make tree hats for their Christmas Concert performance ... so we combined our ideas and made paper mache tree hats! They turned out great.
My Grade 10 student, Zach, working on this paper mache sculpture throughout November and part of December. It is his representation of the character 'Flash'. He did a great job!
I had fun last month building a cardboard house. My girls had fun building their own houses also. This made me realize the sometimes unintentional influence I have on my daughters. The art projects I work on often have this sort of impact on them.
Today was week one of the art camp I am holding at my studio for children. I have 11 children involved, between the ages of 7-9. Today we talked about colour - and painted a group colour wheel to go along with that. We began a mixed media project, one that we will be further working on over the next couple weeks (today they glued ripped up pages from an old book onto a masonite board). We also did a little drawing study. And I also taught them about 'non-representational art', or 'non-objective art'. I played four very different sounding songs, and had the children paint whatever colour in whatever non-objective form they felt led to paint based on the way the music made them feel. Lastly, the afternoon class had a few spare minutes, so they created a shadow image of a city-line. One of the boys had fun making a ufo shadow overtop :)
Last week the children in the Grade 1 and the Grade 3/4 class did a still life drawing/painting of fresh spring flowers. They all turned out uniquely beautiful! Here are just a few:
Yesterday I joined the Grade 3/4 class so they could finish their artwork from the week before. Their drawings were based on a bug's perspective. They had to employ their imagination!
The question that prompted this self-portrait project for the Grade One Class was: "When I grow up, I want to be a ...":
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.