Art for the Soul

….after a very long hiatus

It seems like I haven’t made art for a long time. I feel like I want to do too much and something has to go by the wayside. Unfortunately that something has been my art. Currently I’ve been very busy with baking bread twice a week at Montgomery’s Inn, lawn bowling two nights a week, taking ukulele lessons and trying to practise between lessons, going downtown to the Women’s Art Association of Canada to work in the library and trying to get up to the cottage on weekends.

My father tries to be as independent as possible but there are times that I need to drive him to doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping and the bank. Fortunately my neighbour has returned from the hospital and I no longer have to go next door to feed her cat every day. I did that for seven weeks.

This weekend I stayed home to spend more time with my husband. Unfortunately our plans to go out together didn’t pan out because he came down with a bad head cold. I am very grateful to our daughter and daughter-in-law who invited me to go to the art gallery today. It was a fun afternoon. I’ll tell you more about that in another post.

On Friday, I opened my sketchbook and took a line drawing that I started earlier in the week and filled it in with colour. It was very therapeutic.


Share Your World – October 16, 2017

…… thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I think I would move to Italy, in the hills of Tuscany or Assisi. I loved the serenity while I was there but I might miss being close to water.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

I’ve lived with this horrible grey for so long and I agonized over what colour to replace it with.  I’ve purchased a rich cream colour but the thought of having to move everything to paint over this dreary grey has held me back.

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  1. My husband and children and granddaughter
  2. My friends
  3. Making Art
  4. Taking photographs
  5. My cottage
  6. Talking to and visiting my sisters
  7. Travelling with my husband
  8. Baking for my father
  9. Reading a good book
  10. Listening to great music

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I’ve appreciated the warm temperatures that we’ve experienced this past week. October  has had all kinds of weather but it’s been mostly warm. Even on overcast days I’ve been able to get out for my walks with the dog and take some great photos.

I got together with some friends last week. I think the one thing about being retired that I miss is the daily interaction with colleagues, so when I do get together with friends it’s extra special, even if it’s just to talk and do some errands together.

Every week I try to get to Hamilton to spend time with our granddaughter, Winnie, and give her mother a bit of a break. Last week she let me take her for a walk down her street   after the three of us shared a treat at the local coffee shop.

I always appreciate when my husband cooks dinner, which is most of the time but last week he made pizzas from scratch, which he hasn’t done for awhile. We weren’t sure how Dad would like the fig and mozzarella pizza so he made two different pizzas. Dad loved both of them.


Gathering Colours from Magazines and Old Books

….and then cutting them into squares, rectangles, circles and triangles to create buildings

The advantage of cutting out shapes from magazines or books is the added texture one gets. It is easier to just cut up construction paper but the act of looking for colour swatches in magazines teaches children and adults about the vast range of one colour (i.e., red can be cool (blue undertones) or warm (more yellow undertones), dark (with the addition of black) or light (by adding white) and vibrant or muted).

After a class of cutting and sorting colours we were ready to start cutting our shapes and layering  our pieces to create a collage of buildings. My grade threes were allowed to create a landscape of countryside buildings or a cityscape and they were encouraged to add foreground details and/or background details. The last step involved adding details with a black Sharpie and paint dots to make the whole piece come alive. The following are examples from one of my grade three classes.


Share Your World 2016 – Week 19

….thank you Cee  for some very unusual questions this week

You win a pet monkey but this isn’t just any old monkey. It can do one trick for you whenever you want from getting a pop out of the fridge to washing your hair. What would be the trick?

When I saw this question I couldn’t help but think about the Ikea monkey and all the grief the owner went through for owning a monkey. Washing my hair? Never! I’ll think I’ll pass on this question. I could never own a monkey regardless of the talent it may have.
What caring thing are you going to do for yourself today?

Today I went to see a chiropractor. In the last two weeks I’ve had chronic pain in my upper thigh and the side of my hip. It all started on the day that I walked 18 000 steps. I thought it would go away on it’s own but the pain persisted. I discovered that I have bursitis in my hip as a direct result of that long walk. I was tugged at, pushed and pulled. It hurt! The good news is that it felt better when I was done. My homework is to do some exercises, apply ice and not start any new exercise program. No running or long walks. With a few more visits my hip should be ‘all cleaned up’ before I go to Italy in July.
What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?

Believe it or not I love wearing bright colours like royal blue and red. I also like white, peach and periwinkle.
Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to….

….check out quaint little shops, markets and art galleries. I love outdoor cafes and restaurants that the locals eat at.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. I drove to the finish line for the Sporting Life 10k Run that my oldest daughter, her partner and her brother-in-law participated in. All three finished in great times.

We then drove to Hamilton where we met up with my husband and our youngest daughter and her little family. We had a great time playing with the baby and enjoyed a wonderful meal together.

It’s been a great week at school. The children did really well at the West Conference track and field meet and many of them are moving on to the city finals. All the plans for our Forest of Reading book club celebration are now in place and the silent auction contributions from the classes have been completed by the students and are ready to be fired. Here is the platter that my grade 3 class designed and painted. I did the black lines. I can’t wait to see what it looks like after it’s been fired. IMG_8139

The other thing that I’m grateful for was the amazing lunch that the parents put on for the staff for ‘Teacher Appreciation Day’. They really go all out. They used the library and came in the night before to set it up and decorate it. The food was over the top and there was so much left over that we had a second meal the next day. I also appreciated the fact that there were lots of things  that I could eat and still stay on my ‘diet’.

I’m looking forward to a great day on Friday when the students who earned their 12 reading credits come to our Forest of Reading Celebration. We have an author coming to talk to the students, a drama workshop and a hands on journal making workshop plus a pizza lunch for the successful students and the staff who participated as expert readers.

I’m also looking forward to creating more paintings. I’ll write more about that in another post in the next few days.



Grade 3s Embrace Britto’s Bold Colours

….Romero Britto is a Brazilian born artist based in Florida

Romero Britto is a well known pop artist whose work appears in posters, t-shirts, mugs and ceramic ware. I first came across his work last year when Second Cup commissioned him to create a line of coffee mugs and other dishes for their coffee shops. He uses very vibrant colours and bold lines. Today I would like to share some of the work that my grade three class did that was inspired by Britto’s style. After finishing this piece I photographed and printed their work and mounted the photos on blank cards that the class could send to their pen pals.

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The following photos are courtesy of



Year of the Spark

….another great on-line art class with Carla Sonnheim and Lynn Whipple

In December I signed up for a year long on-line art class with two great artists, Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple. The class is called Year of the Spark and twice a month each teacher presents a lesson and several fun assignments. So far the assignments have been designed to get our hands moving and look at art and drawing in new ways.

Carla’s first class had us drawing dozens of one line sketches of animals, flowers, and houses and then choosing one favourite and drawing it again using many different types of drawing tools. We had to choose one finished piece in the end and frame it. Here are some of my one liners and my framed piece.

IMG_3721 IMG_3722 IMG_3723As much as I liked my dog drawings I decided to elaborate on my birds.

IMG_3730 IMG_3830

As you can see these drawings are intended to be fun and whimsical.

This week Lynn introduced us to pattern drawing and creating cards using people from old photos and a multitude of shapes of cut up papers. I’ve played with the pattern portion of the assignment but I haven’t yet started the card assignment.

The pattern assignment is a warm-up activity but I’m so addicted to this random doodling that it’s taking me hours to finish one page. Tomorrow I’m going to have to try to work faster and maybe use only watercolours to create my patterns. Keep it simple.

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Doodle Painting – Children’s Art

….. this started out as a filler for students who had finished their last project

The last major project that I assigned most of my classes was a one point perspective landscape. It was very detailed and has taken some students three classes to complete. As is often the case there are always students who finish well ahead of their classmates and look to me for the next project. I found a great project that I felt reinforced and extended some of the elements of design that we’ve been learning about and allowed them to dabble in both watercolour and acrylic paints. It’s been so popular that most of my students wanted to make a ‘doodle painting’. Here are a few of the finished pieces done by my grade three students.