Close to where a dear friend lives I witnessed what happens when a community comes together to create gardens on land that would normally be ignored. Some of the gardens are pollinator gardens and others have bird houses to attract birds. The schools have become involved by encouraging children to paint signs and make sculptures that have been carefully placed among the plants.
Has the well of creativity run dry? Have we run out of art supplies? No, none of that is true.
During the holidays making art was difficult because we had the house full of family. Even after they left it took awhile to get our Mojo back. Then the accident happened. Ten days ago my husband, Kevin, fell down the stairs at home and broke his hip. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance and the next day they did a hip replacement.
The amazing part of this story is that his operation was new and his recovery time is much faster. So fast in fact that they sent him home the same day of his surgery. They got him out of bed one hour after his operation and had him walking and climbing up and down stairs. After that they said he was good to go. Everything our friends who’ve had hip surgeries told us to expecthad didn’t apply to Kevin. No restrictions as to movement and his physio is taking place at home.
We set him up in the basement apartment because everything is at his fingertips. He has a walk-in shower with grab bars, a kitchen, TV and new bed. Climbing stairs to come upstairs is not recommended for another week (although I caught him going half way up the stairs to retrieve some mail). As a result I’ve been cooking all the meals (he can do toast and snacks) and all the running around for meds, food and other necessities, such as a new laptop for his business. Needless to say I’m finding it difficult to find time to do my blog and make art.
Kevin was very impressed with the nursing staff a Toronto Western and saw some of the abuse they have to endure from disgruntled patients. He wanted to do something special for them so he made a painting for them. I brought his art supplies to the basement and this is what he made.
With Valentine’s Day close at hand he also got busy and made a card for the family.
In New Brunswick, our Miss Winnie was busy making Valentine’s Day cards for every member of her class and she personalized each card by drawing something that the child likes or has an interest in. Luckily she only has 13 classmates.
After my granddaughter and her family went back to London, England, I discovered that they left behind a number of things, like toys, gloves, snacks and Sevin’s artwork. We had already taken our favourite piece and framed it but there were five more left behind. Rather than throw them away I decided to take them and add marks with black and white ink. Here is the first one that I worked on.
Over the holidays our granddaughter from England came for a visit with her parents. When Winnie, our first granddaughter was very young I used to frequently see how much direction she would take when we did art together and I was always surprised at how much she would remember from one visit to the next. As she got older she wanted to be the one giving directions and we had to follow her lead when we did art together.
On this recent trip, Sevin’s parents asked me if I would do watercolour with her. It was a medium that up to this point they hadn’t tried with her. I wasn’t sure if she was old enough but I thought nothing ventured, nothing gained so after spending a week with us and becoming more and more comfortable with us we set up a painting station on the dining room table. Mama and Papa went out for a walk and Sevin and I started the painting process. We taped down the paper and I tried to teach her how to wet the brush and dip it into the paint. She loved making puddles on the paper and seeing how the colours reacted with each other. I talked about how red and blue make purple (two colours she gravitated to the most) and how we should clean the brushes between colours. It didn’t always work but when one painting was done I quickly removed it from the board and taped down a new piece of paper. We did this as least five times.
While we painted, her grandfather came along and joined us. It was a real family affair. After some of the paintings dried I showed Sevin how to add more marks to the painting, using crayons. She has a nice swirl technique that she added to one of the paintings and it ended up being the painting we matted and will probably frame. When her parents returned from their walk they were most impressed with what Sevin had accomplished and I think they may try this when they get back to London.
….on our walk this past week we came across this colourful collection hanging from the trees along the edge of the creek
Early into our walk I notice a flash of colour up ahead and as we got closer we noticed dozens of brightly painted birdhouses hanging from some of the smaller trees next to the creek. You could tell that a few were done by adults but the majority had to be done by children. I figured that some enterprising class from one of the neighbourhood schools did this as a spring project to beautify the neighbourhood and provide nesting areas for some of the smaller birds.
I was so impressed with these tiny feeders and birdhouses that I promptly went to the dollar store to buy some for my granddaughter. I also bought some small clear containers which I filled with craft paint and a variety of paint brushes. At home I put a prime coat of white paint on two of the houses and then packed everything into a gift bag. On Saturday we did a drive by visit in Hamilton to drop off our Easter candy and this special bag. Winnie was so excited that she wanted to start painting right away. When we got home her mom sent us photos of the ‘finished’ projects. I’m not sure if she’s going to add more detail but she’s pretty pleased with the way they’ve turned out.
…I guess Winnie likes making art with her Oma over Zoom
Today Winnie wanted to make more collage people. Most of her time was spent cutting out pictures from her Chirp magazine and then gluing about four pieces onto a sheet of paper. While she was doing that I took the precut pieces I had in my bowl collage papers and started on my Mrs. Potato Head creation, with Winnie’s approval of course. I love how she says ‘that’s perfect’ every time I showed her my progress.
We also did some more intuitive art that Winnie directed but I’ve yet to finish that piece. Unfortunately I don’t have Winnie’s art to show you.
This is my art for day 14 of my year long art challenge…..maybe I should make it a month long challenge.
Since we are not able to get together one on one, I organized at Zoom Art Class with our granddaughter in Hamilton. Once she finished her on-line class with her kindergarten teacher she signed in with me and we had a wonder hour and a half making art together.
I suggested some things that we could work on together and showed her samples of my work. I wasn’t really surprised when she rejected my ideas because she’s five after all. Instead she wanted me to follow her lead and go with her directions. We started with a clean sheet of paper (mine was a bit too small) and she started telling me how to draw the lines on my paper and she did the same on hers. After numerous steps it was time to colour our masterpieces. I carefully filled in the spaces and she boldly added her colours in large free strokes. The whole time we talked and periodically checked out how our work was progressing. Here is the first of three projects we completed.
.For our next project I was instructed to draw a straight line with small lines coming out of the long line. We were making a tree. Then for some reason she seemed to like the idea of making people the way I had suggested earlier with collage, marker and stickers. Here is what we came up with.
I love the tower of hair on her girl.
For our last project Winnie decided to show me how to make a paper doll. For some reason she ended up gluing her doll onto a piece of paper and drew tall grass surrounding her. I loved the story she came up with as to why the doll was in the tall grass and how no one could find her but she had super speedy powers so that a lawnmower wouldn’t be able to mow her down.
….you don’t have to look far to find things to put a smile on your face
Throughout the neighbourhood people are putting out painted stones with bright colours and special messages. Up the street the local yarn store has had customers knit or crochet flowers and has ‘planted’ them on the lamp post outside the store. On the rocky beach over at the park people are creating art with the bricks and stones from the beach.