A Visiti to the Aquarium Inspires This Art Class

….a watercolour wash, crayon resist, and playing with salt

The kindergarten classes made a trip to the new Ripley’s Aquarium here in Toronto. They researched marine life before going on the trip and I brought library books to the class to use as a reference for their fish drawings.

We started with a crayon line drawing of the fish and surrounding sea plants. I showed the class how to make a wash for the background and while the paint was still wet we sprinkled it with salt to give the water an interesting texture. We also used white crayon to create bubbles in the water and some of the children wrote their names with the this crayon. The last step was to add colour to the fish themselves and the plants. I think they did a wonderful job.

Happy Penguins

….tell kindergarteners that they can dress up their penguins and they instantly become ‘happy’ penguins

We started our project by painting our background with ribbons of watercolour. The only restriction was ‘no’ black or brown paint. While the paint was drying they drew and then cut out their penguin bodies, eyes, beaks and feet. This pretty much took up the entire first class.

In the second class I showed the class how to draw an ice flow so that it had some dimension and then I instructed the students on how to put everything together. When the penguin was glued into place with all parts intact the students then had the option of making hats, scarves and sweater from some scrapbook paper that I had.

The inspiration for this assignment came from Deep Space Sparkle.

Share Your World 2015 – Week 12

….some unusual questions this week

When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion.

The last time I sat on a garden bench was two summers ago. My cottage neighbour had built a bench on the beach for anyone to use. I used to love going down to the beach early in the day to have my morning coffee. Unfortunately the powers that be decided that all things left on this ‘public’ beach had to be removed. When we returned last summer the bench was gone.

Would you ever be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle?

When I attended university I had thought about being a doctor but teaching became my chosen profession. I actually contemplated about taking a gross human anatomy class where I would dissect a human body. A 400 level floral design class won out. I used to watch live surgeries on TV but I do turn away when the needle to draw blood comes out.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

If people are coming from another country I like to take them to Niagara Falls.IMG_0731 For my Canadian out-of-town quests I like to take them to the AGO (art gallery) and treat them to any special exhibitions that are featured during their visit. Luckily most of my friends like art.

If my guest come in the summer and they like a rustic setting I might suggest that we go to the cottage for a few days.P1030370


If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

It might seem strange that I would choose a discount store but Marshall’s has it all for me. Beautiful designer clothes that fit me and suit me, shoes, purses, kitchenware, gourmet food, dishes, and children’s and men’s wear. What could be better?

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 being treated to a trip to the new Aga Khan Museum, here in Toronto. My friend, D, is a member and we spent the morning walking through the galleries. I really enjoyed looking at the old Persian vessels, art and tapestries. When so many artefacts are being destroyed in the Middle East because of war and acts of terrorism I was grateful that these treasures have been preserved for all to enjoy.

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After exploring the entire museum and checking out the gift shop we had a very nice lunch at the restaurant located in the museum. The space was decorated with beautifully carved wall panels and mirrors and the food was attractively presented and very tasty.

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I’m also grateful for slightly warmer weather and sunny days. On Sunday we had the family over Sunday lunch and game day. My husband made an incredible Irish meal in honour of St. Patrick’s Day (only a week late) and A and J brought Zeppole for dessert in honour of St Joseph’s Day.

This week I’m looking forward to doing more art, not only my own personal art but also art with my students. I’ve already started some interesting projects with the kids and today my kindergarten class made wonderful art with objects from nature (last 4 photos). The first six photos are mine. The owls are samples I created for my older students. They are designing their own owls and then transferring the design onto a foam plate and then colouring it and pressing it onto paper. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the kids can do.

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Sure Signs of Spring

……March 20th marked the first day of Spring

The snow has melted in this part of the world but the east coast of Canada has been hit with more snow storms and we’re talking about a lot of snow.

I’m thrilled that Spring has finally arrived even though the signs aren’t always obvious to the naked eye or to exposed skin. This morning when I woke up I could see that it had snowed last night. Nothing significant but enough to know that winter isn’t done with us yet and if that tiny bit of snow didn’t convince you, the cold wind certainly did.


Later in the day the sun did warm things up a bit but walking into the wind did make the trek a little uncomfortable. I, however, was on a mission to find signs of spring that I could record with my camera.

Much of the plant life still harbours the brown tones of decay but the sun added a certain warmth and brought out a richness to some colourful naked branches.

One of the signs of spring was the hidden treasure that lay inside the snow all winter and now appeared everywhere. Hardly photo worthy though. On our way home we looked up and I saw my first robin of the season. I have noticed that the birds are singing more brightly in the morning when I wake up and the squirrels are more active in the backyard.


I was hoping to see signs of new growth coming up through the ground but It wasn’t immediately obvious. When I returned home I walked up to the front garden and pushed aside a few leaves and lo and behold I found my crocus starting to push up through the ground. Spring is definitely here despite the cold and gloomy forecast for April.


Well at least it’s warm inside and my husband has brought Spring indoors with his gift of fresh tulips. I’m a lucky girl.