Happy Thanksgiving Canada

….and Happy Birthday Onkel G√ľnter, Winnie and Brendan

It’s been a busy weekend. Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Canada but we had four birthdays in the family on the same weekend. In fact in October we celebrate birthdays for my husband, my father, my granddaughter, my son-in-law and his brother, my father’s brother and my cousin. I’m sure I’ve missed someone.

This weekend our granddaughter turned four. Andrea, our oldest daughter volunteered to host Thanksgiving and the birthday party at her house. I was most grateful for that, especially after spending five hours in emergency with my husband on Friday. Before you become too concerned let me just say that he’s much better and gets better each day. Thankfully I had made my contribution to the dinner the day before.

The other thing that I did before going to Andrea’s for dinner was volunteer at the Inn to help with the outdoor oven for a workshop that was being put on by George Brown College. At the workshop the students were instructed in baking pizza in the wood fired oven. Everyone got to make two pizzas, one to eat and one to take home. I couldn’t stay for the whole event because I had to be at the dinner. After I left they also baked pita bread and a cranberry loaf. Dale manned the oven and took the pizzas out when they were ready.P1080266

Dinner at Andrea’s and Josie’s was spectacular but the highlight, especially for Winnie, was celebrating Winnie’s 4th birthday. Seeing all the presents was too much for her so we decided to let her open her gifts before dinner.P1080289

All in all it was a wonderful weekend, with way too much food and drink. I gained about six pounds but I’m determined to take it off as quickly as possible.

Collage as an Art Form

….personally I love collage but many people don’t consider it an art form

Yesterday I went to a workshop put on by the art consultants in our board and the topic was Collage. It wasn’t a huge class but there were about 15 teachers there from the elementary panel. We all taught different grade levels but we came with the same goal in mind and that was how to teach the art of collage to our students.

Our instructor took the group down a hallway to observe some examples of collage that had been done by the students at that school. The message that we took away was that collage is not suppose to be a bunch of pictures pasted randomly onto paper. I’m afraid that some of my grade five students are guilty of this very thing and even though we talked about foreground, middle ground and background many didn’t quite grasp how to apply that to their collage assignment.

One idea or school of thought behind collage is that the piece should tell a story. Some of my students were quite comfortable talking about their art but others couldn’t really come up with much of a story. The group at the workshop was given 2 assignments to complete in the hour and a half that we had and this included the lesson and the discussions that followed each assignment. For the first assignment we were asked to choose a post card from the table and then find ‘one’ picture that we could add to the card to create a new piece of art. The new addition was to blend in with the piece and look like it belonged there. Of course I missed the part about using only one picture but a few others did as well. Despite that the things that people came up with were very interesting and unfortunately these first pieces were scooped up very quickly and I didn’t get a chance to take photos.

The second assignment involved choosing an image that had been removed from a discarded art book. The paper is nice and heavy and works well for gluing collage papers onto it. Then we were instructed to pick 2 or 3 different colours of paper to add to the image and finally we had to find some pictures from magazines to add to the image. One of the hardest parts was deciding on which image to choose.

We only had 10 minutes to complete the first assignment and for the second assignment we were given about 40 minutes. It was a lot of fun and we were given some useful tips along the way that we can pass on to our students. One tip is ‘don’t let students glue anything down until they’ve conferenced with the teacher’. Good advice.

When all the pieces were done or at least close to being finished we had an opportunity to tell ‘our story’. I won’t discuss the stories here but maybe you can figure out for yourself what some of these stories are. My contribution is the last piece in the gallery with the netting across the woman’s face.