365 Days of Art – The Beginning

….days 153 and 154

I’ve enrolled in Lynn Whipple’s repeat class called Big Bold Blooms. It’s a very loose way of painting flowers on large canvases. I purchased three 24 x 30 inch canvases and the first thing we had to do was prime them with a light grey on one, an orange on another and finally a white gesso on the third.

Once the paint dried we had to look at a floral arrangement and with chalk pastels and vine charcoal we loosely drew parts of the arrangement and then flipped the canvas and did it again. The canvas was flipped three times and the last time lines were drawn in different directions across the canvas to almost give it a grid appearance. Each time one colour of chalk was used it was wiped with our hands to smudge it before the next colour  was added or the piece was flipped.

My canvases are now ready for step two of the the process.


Big Bold Blooms

….day 148 of 365 Days of Art

I’ve signed up for another class through Carla Sonheim where Lynn Whipple teaches how to draw and paint Big, Bold Blooms.

Our first class was to quickly draw 15 blooms while listening to music and time each drawing. The first group were given 15 seconds to draw, the second group 30 and the last 1 minute. After all the flowers were drawn we had to cut them out and arrange them in and on a quickly drawn vase. The medium used was soft pastels.

One of my favourite parts of this assignment was going out and purchasing a variety of flowers.IMG_4048


An Artful Sunday

….I stayed home to work on samples for tomorrow’s art workshop

I started mid morning. K drove to Hamilton to help our daughter put in her garden. Normally I would have gone with him but I knew that if I didn’t get an early start on my samples they wouldn’t get done or I would be staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish them.

In our workshop tomorrow the children will be making their own journals from scratch. All the materials for the books are already laid out and ready to go. The focus of this year’s hand made book is decorating the cover with photographs, artwork and fancy paper. The collage should have some personal message on the cover. I’ve encouraged the boys and girls to bring in photocopies of family photos. At school I’ve have lots of papers, magazines and covers that the kids can play with. Thanks to Lynn Whipple for this fabulous idea. Here are my samples that I will share with the classes tomorrow.

After I finished the covers I went back to a project that I started a couple of months ago but stopped mid-stream. It’s a technique where you glue photos to the back of a piece of glass or plexiglass facing the front and then you paint the background on the back of the glass. It’s called reverse painting and requires that you turn your work over periodically so that you can see how it looks on the front. I actually enjoyed the process more than I thought I would. This was also an assignment from  Lynn Whipple from Year of the Spark.

I choose a photograph of my great great grandparents and aunts and uncles. I learned that they periodically vacationed in Africa so I decided to add some large ferns from a  Geli print that I had done last year and I drew a sketch of an elephant and placed it behind the ferns. I always associate orange skies with Africa but I’m not sure what the castle in the sky signifies. Freud would probably have a hay day analyzing this piece; well to do Germans, early 1900s, vacationing in Africa, castle in the sky, elephants, etc..


After finishing the books and the reverse painting I drove to three different places looking for a place to trim or buy a new mat for a painting that I’m donating to the silent auction next Saturday at the school’s Fun Fair. I have a great frame but the mat that came with it covered too much of the painting. Unfortunately I didn’t find anyone to help me. I did however get a name of a place, close to work, that I’m going to try tomorrow.

When I returned home I put the reverse painting into its frame and then I opened my art journal and decided to start this week’s assignment. I’m suppose to play with colours and come up with different palettes with five colour combinations that appeal to me. Once I’ve finished that I’m suppose to create a self portrait (very open ended) using my favourite. palette.

So far I’ve created several palettes. Most of them were done using acrylic paint and one uses pan pastels. Do you have a favourite?

Kindergarteners Rock When Painting to Music

….painting to music is energizing and allows you to be loose and free with your lines and application of paint

Last week’s assignment for the http://www.carlasonheim.com/yearofthespark/ was presented by Lynn Whipple. We were instructed to draw and paint a floral arrangement using a variety of pens, pencils, markers and watercolour paints while listening to music. Here is my finished piece after listening to Astor Piazzola’s El Tango.


I decided to try and re-created this assignment for my kindergarten class. I chose five varied pieces of music and did up a quick sample before heading to the kindergarten class. I had a stuffed rabbit in the library so I did a quick drawing to music and left some of the painting to do later with the children. Here is my finished sample:

IMG_4603 IMG_4606I

In class I reminded the children how colour can affect our moods and that music does the same. I demonstrated how music can affect how you draw and make marks on paper. I told them that they could draw anything that they wanted (there were flowers in the centre of each table) or they could simply make marks and shapes to the music they heard. They were given pencils, coloured pencils, crayons, chalk pastels and markers.

They each chose one tool and when the music started they began drawing. After one minute I changed the music and told them to change their tool. We did this for five different pieces of music. When they were happy with their drawing we added watercolour to the mix. Some of the children saw shapes and animals in their pictures and added colour accordingly. I put on a quieter piece of music for this last part. It was fascinating to watch them. Some children clearly picked up on the concept and moved their brushes to the beat of the music and some actually stopped when there was a pause in the music and continued when the music started again.

There was so much joy in the room. Not one student wanted to stop early and many of them wanted to experiment with the dripping paint. I love these pieces so much that I am going to frame them and put them up in the main foyer of the school. Here is a sizeable sample of work done by four and five year olds.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I sincerely hope that some of the parents will mat and frame these pieces of art. If any piece of art work is worthy of saving this is it.

Sticks and Stones

…..make wonderful art

Last week I was assigned a project that involved gathering up bits of nature to create a temporary work of art. After we finished creating we could photograph our masterpieces and then return the bits back to the environment or leave our creations somewhere outside where others could enjoy what we made. This idea came from Lynn Whipple who is one of the artists from Year of the Spark. This is a year long on-line art class brought to us by Carla Sonheim and Lynn. Every month they take turns coming up with wonderful and innovative assignments that bring out our inner spark. Every two weeks we get a new assignment.

I was really inspired by this project and came up with my own ‘Learning Stick’ and a composition of stones and dried foliage and grasses that I turned into a card. IMG_4249 IMG_4256

I’m hoping to make more but in the meantime I offered this assignment to my kindergarten class and they ate it up.

Before I arrived for our regular weekly art class, the children took a walk around the school yard and gathered up as many bits of nature that they could find. Between me and the ECE teacher and  what the children gathered we had a very nice collection of materials to work with.

I told the children that we weren’t gluing anything down and when their picture was done I would come around and photograph it and then we would take it apart and if they wanted they could make another picture. When we finished with the materials we would return them to nature.

I printed the photographs on my printer at home onto regular sized photocopy paper and then I made one 4 x 6 glossy print to mount onto a card. Here’s what mine looked like.


After we mounted all the photographs onto a black background they were put up outside the kindergarten class for all to enjoy. Today they were moved to a more central part of the school so that more people would see them. The cards that I made will be given to the parents as a special gift on Earth Day.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Share Your World – 2015 – Week 1

…..wow a new year of Share Your World with Cee

How do you get rid of pesky phone calls from telemarketers?

If I hear dead air for a second or two after I say Hello I know it’s a telemarketer and I hang up. Simple!

What are you a “natural” at doing?

I don’t know if anyone is a natural at anything. I know that people might think I’m a natural when it comes to art or public speaking but it wasn’t always that way. I had to work at it to gain confidence and even now I still have doubts about my abilities but I am always willing to try new things and take some risks.

How often do you get a haircut?

When my hair is short I try to get it cut every 6 to 8 weeks. When it’s longer it might be every two to three months.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

Fun for me is creating art and being around friends.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for having my entire family home for Christmas and having everyone together to celebrate B and G’s birthday. I also loved visiting and spending time with friends.

This week I’m looking forward to some quiet time with my husband before he has to go back for more surgery on his thyroid next Monday. I’m also looking forward to starting a new on-line year long art class with Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple called Year of the Spark.


I can't upload my Year of the Spark poster that I made. How frustrating!

I can’t upload my Year of the Spark poster that I made. How frustrating!