Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dinosaur Week

This past week, I spent an hour a day doing art lessons with a Grade Three class. It's been a long time since I was in a classroom, but I remembered that Dinosaurs were always a hit. I decided to see how the children did, making a little model Dinosaur Habitat, complete with a Dinosaur of their choice. I got a cardboard base ready for each child, then we talked about Dinosaurs and their world, I gave them instructions and examples, talked about the difference in a scientific project where everything had to be correct, versus an art project such as we were doing, where they could add some imagination, and off they went. The children had to listen carefully, do each step in order, measure, draw, cut, paste, and assemble their Habitat, and they did SO well! I drew simple, cartoony dinosaurs for them, but they had to try new-to-them coloured pencil techniques, decide on colours (I mean, who knows what colour those Dinos were!), then choose how close to the lines they wanted to cut. They also had the option of doing their own Dinosaur from start to finish, but most children chose to use the pre-drawn ones. Look at the individual creativity that went into these . . .do you see the dino-footprints in the top photo, and the swampy areas in the bottom right one? Someone decided on a magnificent volcanic erruption in his model, and many of the children managed to get very real expressions on their Dino faces.
I could have put all 23 images up here, but had to choose just a few. Every one of the 23 projects is an A+ Well done Grade Three!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Horses In My Life

A few weeks ago, our City newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen, asked readers to send in their (short)stories about how horses impacted their lives. This was to help publicize the opening of a major exhibit, THE HORSE at the Museum of Civilization, and several of the stories would be chosen for publication in the Saturday paper.
Well, I was thrilled to discover last Saturday, that my story had made the cut, and there it was, in the Ottawa Citizen. I'd like to share it with you.
"Being a horse crazy child, I often played at being a horse, pretending to have the freedom and power of these gorgeous animals. I read about them, wrote stories about them, drew them all over my school books, the walls, or on any available paper, and dreamed of having a horse of my own. That dream was realized as an adult when I bought a wonderful, middle-aged Morgan whom I named Ceilidh (Kaylee). Together, we made life-long friends and had marvelous adventures. We were together until his death at age 33.
Horses have made a huge difference in my life. Ceilidh and the other horses at the barn, expanded my understanding of kindness, patience, and the quietness of the soul. They gave me confidence in myself. They inspired me to a career path of painting and writing about horses and dogs, and that has taken me places I never even dreamed of. They have enriched my life in every way, and even on a bad day, just seeing a horse can make me smile."
Although I did not send in the above image, I think it is an appropriate one to use here to illustrate this blog, as it is about the Horse in legend and story, and is the panel I did for the Horse Gift Mural, a truly amazing project that I was privileged to be part of.