A Garden of Spring Flowers in Paint

….in this part of the world spring is not close at hand

Looking at blogs that originate in Ireland, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and the west coast of North America I’m amazed to see so many gardens that are already in bloom with beautiful spring flowers. With some luck we may see our first daffodil in late April but most of our flowers won’t appear until May.

To get us in the spring mood I painted some simple made up flowers using watercolours and circle shapes. For the background I used a scraping technique that I learned from Carla Sonheim. Once the paint was dry I added more detail, sometimes with  more paint but mostly with black ink from a Sharpie. I liked the final product so much I adapted it for my students and when I return to school this week I will plaster the walls with their beautiful gardens of flowers. I will share their work with you later this week.


The Last Days of Summer

….normally we start to experience cooler temperatures before the onset of autumn

The first day of fall is only one day away, September 22. You would hardly know that by the clothes people wear to work and out on the street. Sandals, shorts and sleeveless tops and dresses are still the norm. Even the evenings are still pleasantly warm.

Today I witnessed sailboats out on the lake in the late afternoon hours and the swans, geese and ducks are in no hurry to fly south. There are signs, though,  that autumn is close at hand. The leaves are starting to change colour,  many flowers are starting to whither, plants are going to seed and bushes are ripe with red and purple berries.


After the Rain

…..orange sky, green tomatoes and wet flowers

Maybe someone can tell me why my cherry tomatoes are still green after all the heat we’ve had lately. It’s true what they say about ‘red sky at night’. Today was a beautiful sunny day.


Georgia O’Keefe Inspired Art

….a great lesson for symmetry and using oil pastels

My grade 1, 2 and 3 classes were given a quick introduction to Georgia O’Keefe’s flower paintings. I had some beautiful calendar pages that featured some of her florals. I pointed out how she blended colours and how the whole page was filled with her flower image. Most of the classes had studied symmetry in their math classes so I showed them an example of symmetry in nature and one that was man-made.

For this lesson I wanted them to try and create a flower that had at least two lines of symmetry. I showed them how to divide their paper into equal quarters and then I started the flower from the middle. I demonstrated how to blend colours and over lay colours using oil pastels.

Most of the students got the concept and many loved adding more and more colour. When a student didn’t like their colour choices I showed them how to add white or peach to lighten or soften their picture. They were so open to trying this technique and most came back with a completely different picture and much happier with their project.

The first slideshow is work from my two grade one classes and the second one features larger samples from my grade two class.

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