A Messy Day With Paint

…..tensions were high and the paint literally flew

After taking Karine Swenson’s class on abstract painting I decided to pass on some of the things that I learned to my grade 5 students. One thing you should know is that this class is huge by today’s standards. There are 30 students in this class and they take up every inch of space that I have for art. The other problem is that not everyone is on the same project and everyone wanted help at the same time.

I put on a Youtube video that demonstrated some abstract techniques that the students might want to try. This kept about half the class busy while I sorted out the problems with the other projects that were still incomplete. Earlier in the week I went to the dollar store and purchased canvases, small, medium and large that the students preordered and paid for.

Once I got most of the problems solved I brought out the paints, brushes, palette knives, palettes and a variety of other accessories that the students could use on their paintings. I took a canvas and in about 5 minutes I created an abstract piece that used a variety of techniques and i let the students dictate what colours they wanted me to use. I’m not sure I would have used those colours if I were making the decision but the kids aren’t afraid to experiment with someone else’s work.photo 1-107 I’m glad I was wearing an apron because at one point when I threw the paint from the knife onto the canvas it came straight back at me and right onto the centre of my red apron.

It was actually a very good teaching moment and the kids could see how easy it is the ruin what you’re wearing. When I finished my piece the grade 5s were ready to start their own paintings.

The following paintings may or may not be finished. Next week when we have art class again the students will decide if they need to add more detail or change something they don’t like. A couple of girls have already made that decision and painted out what they’d done and they will start anew in the next class.

Karine Swenson always says that it’s only paint and canvas. Experiment. You can always paint over it if you don’t like it. I love the energy and freedom of these paintings. The kids had a blast and even though they left me with a huge mess some of them did come back at the end of the day to help me clean up.


Share Your World – Week 15

…..I can’t believe it’s already week 15

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

I’m an Apple user all the way. For my blog I work on my MacBook Pro…photo 2-9

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a very young child I remember wanting to be a nurse but when I was 12, I changed my mind and wanted to be a Family Studies teacher. I was asked to attend an open house at the school and demonstrate how we were using the sewing machines in class. I was hooked. In high school I toyed with the idea of being a doctor but I kept going back to being a teacher. P1030481

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

For most of my childhood I grew up in Toronto. We lived in Oakville for about four years but we moved back to the big city to be closer to my father’s job. I have fond memories of living in Oakville because it was like living in the country at the time. Our house backed onto a field with a creek running through it. We lived in a new housing development and I recall playing in some of the unfinished homes. Pretty crazy when I think of the dangers we encountered daily. We were also allowed to go to the creek without adult supervision and we rode our bicycles through the field and onto busy streets on our way to the plaza. I had one nasty spill onto the gravel road and still have the scars on my knee to this day.

When we moved back to Toronto I was 10 years old and we lived directly across from the school. There was a huge park that surrounded the school and right across the street from us was a skating rink in the winter and a tennis court in the summer. A few years later they also built a public outdoor swimming pool right next to the rink. We lived in an apartment building but I was so close to so many recreational amenities that I never missed not having a backyard. In the summers we went to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and as I went from being a pre-teen to a teenager I started taking the subway to the downtown area. Basically, I loved living in the city. P1020030

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I always think of myself as younger. I work with a wide range of ages but I guess I’m now the oldest person at my school. Our caretaker might be a bit older than me but not by much. If I had to put an age to myself I’d say I feel like I’m only 45. I actually feel better now than when I turned 50.

On my 61st birthday.

On my 61st birthday.

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 the the warmer weather we experienced last week and for all the snow melting. Unfortunately we’re suppose to get colder temperatures tonight and tomorrow morning we’re expecting 5 to 10 cm of snow. Yikes!photo 4-83

Later this week I’m looking forward to visiting my sister in Chatham. My new brother-in-law really wants to see my husband who was unable to attend their wedding in January because of his fall. On Monday we’re spending Easter Monday at my daughter’s (A and J) place and will be enjoying a delicious Easter brunch.

Visiting my sister and my brother-in-law, D to check out his new 'man cave'.

Visiting my sister and my brother-in-law, D to check out his new ‘man cave’.

For more Share Your World contributions check out Cee’s Photography.

A Productive Day and a Movie Review

….didn’t finish everything on my to do list but actually did more than I planned to do, including watching a very bad movie

It was a perfect day, yesterday, for working in the garden. I raked the front and the back yard and bagged a lot of yard waste. I know that I said I would report back later in the day but I think I overdid it because I couldn’t keep my eyes open later in the evening. Here’s what I accomplished in one day:photo 2-97

I did actually put some fertilizer down over my bulbs. I think I called it bone meal yesterday but in actual fact it’s chicken poop. It’s suppose to keep the squirrels from digging up the bulbs. As soon as the snow melted away last week I noticed that something started digging in the garden so I had to take action quickly before the hundred bulbs I planted last fall are completely destroyed. photo 5-67 photo 3-80

I also took down the Christmas lights on the Yew in front of the house. As I was doing that I decided that it needed a good trim so I got out the ladder and proceeded to give it a ‘hair cut’. This was not on my to do list.



As you can see from the photos, new growth is just starting to come up from the ground. Now you can see why I’m so envious of all those beautiful photographs of blossoms and  spring flowers that the rest of the world seems to be enjoying. It really has been a long winter.

I also did about four loads of laundry, vacuumed the main floor of the house, dusted in the living room and I did take out some of the garden furniture.photo 1-93 I didn’t want to push it because I was afraid I was going jinx this beautiful weather we’re having. As it is the weatherman has forecast snow for this Tuesday and I also put away the snow shovels. Well, I actually left one out just in case.

I also cleaned the oven, wrote one post (started this one) and took a few photographs.

I didn’t get to the bird cage and I didn’t put away my winter clothes and take out the summer clothes. I think the latter project is a little premature anyway, seeing that we’re in for a few more days if not weeks of cool weather.

Later in the afternoon my husband and I decided to treat ourselves and go and see a movie at the theatre. Usually I check reviews before deciding on a movie but for some reason I didn’t do that this time. Big mistake.

We went to see, Noah. It had some very good actors in it (Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson) and it was directed by the same director who did the Black Swan. How could we go wrong?

It was bad. This interpretation of the biblical story of Noah is so out there that it was barely recognizable. The only things that made it recognizable were the ark and the animals pairs (all computer animated by the way). It was a disaster movie with rock creatures called the Watchers. For a better review of this movie go to my favourite movie blog and see what Movie Joltz has to say. I usually go here before I decide on a movie. After watching Noah, my husband’s comment was, “Well, that’s three hours I’ll never get back.”

A Beautiful Saturday – Why am I Creating a To Do List?

….am I crazy or just practical?

I suspect I’m doing this because it needs to be done

To Do List for April 12, 2014

rake front lawn
sprinkle bone meal on garden
take out garden furniture
clean out bird cage
do laundry – started
take out summer clothes and put away winter clothes
clean oven – started
write post – started
go for a walk
dust living room floor and shelves – floors done
vacuum carpets upstairs and down – started
take photographs

As you can see I’ve already started some of these chores. I think I need to fill the gaps with some fun stuff.

My husband must be feeling my energy this morning because he’s started raking the back yard and he’s taken out our bikes and cleaned them off. Maybe we can get out for a ride this afternoon. Well, I’m off to start some work outside as well. Maybe by putting this out there for the world to see I might actually accomplish all of the things on my To Do List or at least get 90% of it done. Wish me luck. I’ll report later today to let you know how I successful I’ve been.

On the fitness and weight loss journey: I’m struggling. Up 3 and down 2. Today’s goal is to get out and move and drink at least 4 large glasses of water. One glass down and 3 to go.

I thought I posted this 2 hours ago. Apparently not. In the meantime I’m down 3 glasses of water, 2 loads of laundry, raked the front and the back yard, finished cleaning the oven, sprinkled bone meal on the garden, and took out the garden furniture. I also took down the Christmas lights, trimmed the yew and bagged 2 bags of yard waste. Now let’s see if I can get this thing posted…..an ongoing problem.