Life has been so very busy and has left no time for a moment to sit and reflect or to pass away idle time. This is a picture of a painting I recently finished which I was commissioned to do of a grand daughter, to be presented as a Christmas gift. I don't know how I managed to get it done, having taken a week or so to complete just two days before Christmas eve. Sam took many pictures of the painting inside minutes before it was collected and so without proper lighting this is the best of them. No matter how successful I might find the work to be, I am always a bit nervous as to how the work will be received when showing the client.
Monday, August 15, 2011
For this week the lesson was based on the theme of the week which was "Earthly Treasures," so we did paintings of trees, allowing students to make their own color choices. We began by reading "The Giving Tree," by Shel Silverstein, a complete classic to evoke a deeper appreciation for what trees/nature provides for us. We named the many parts of the tree and embellished them with leaves and little details of nests, fruit or animals in the scene. Here we get to see all the roots deep in the ground, a shade darker or tint lighter than the color of the tree above the ground depending on the color of the earth.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
This weeks theme was patterns and I was given the day for painting and so I thought it would be fun to make these nifty Mandala inspired paintings that actually are more like gobstoppers because of their concentric circles of color. The students were of ages 6-12 so as you can see by the work there is a diversity in the execution of the paintings but I think everyone did a really super job. We worked on 16x16 inch canvas and used acrylics.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
So this weeks theme was "art safari" and I had the day to do mixed media with the students and so came up with a neat idea to do imaginary animals with drawn textures in a Rousseau inspired setting. Students were given a brief mini lesson about mythological creatures and the visiting of distant lands in the time before photographs when artists created elephants from their description. We then created a drawn jungle or landscape scene which students could do as they chose with some Rousseau reproductions to inspire and some foliage brought in from my backyard. With some watercolour added the scenes came to life around their animals which have been given raised from the picture surface by foam board squares glued on the back. Students could also, if time permitted add other pop-out elements using scrap paper and foam board.
Friday, July 15, 2011
One of the eldest students made for herself a decorative castle tower. If only we had more time I would have had them create a backdrop or a panorama to help create an environment for their work and give a greater sense of scale to their structures.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Mischievous Mouse painting is a new work now available for purchase in my shop http://www.onetindrum.etsy.com/. This is an original oil painting on wood mounted nicely on a frame and ready for hanging. The subject of the painting was from an earlier commissioned work in which I was given permission to the photographs for other paintings. I did a bit of alteration in the look of the subject to give the boy a more sinister look and the costume colors are made up to suite the overall color scheme.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
In the little creek behind the house sheltered by tall summer grass is a frog sanctuary where we have a bit of fun catching these slick green beauties with a butterfly net. They are very evasive little guys but with some luck and patience we nab a few for Isabella and Jude to look at.
Isabella with frog thumbs, gives the thumbs up. This isn't as bad as it looks. We were very tender with the little cold blooded creatures and by a deeper connection or sheer terror they ended up reluctant to jump away when we attempt to place them back in their habitat.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Here are some of the latest pictures of our developing garden which is really taking off. I am surprised to find on one day a plant is just beginning to vine along the ground and the very next day is off seeking away into the Morning Glories. I was surprised that much of anything would grow because so much of the soil is clay like and tends to dry out very quickly. If anything I hope to make a contribution to the soil with composting and the growing of legumes which will put some nitrogen into the soil. The garden is now one of Jude's favorite places to venture, a paradise of green leaves and vines all about his own size.
Friday, July 8, 2011
This is one of my favorite cover designs and this book has been in several treasuries on Etsy so I am glad it finally sold. I make these books by hand, choosing decorative papers available from various fine paper sources and art shops for the cover designs. The pages are selected from large high quality sheets of medium weight Stonehenge paper which I cut to size. All the materials used to make the cover and the book bound pages are measured, cut and glued by hand to create a really authentic handmade one-of-a-kind item. Each book fits a good 72 pages front and back which has a smooth surface good for writing and drawing. I think these books would be perfect for a travel journals. The work that goes into them and the cost of the materials is such that I don't make much profit on them but I have a love for making books so that is why I do it.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Isabella in her element
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I would love to get up to the present but there are still many things of which I would like to speak of about my trip with my family up in Maple Leaf which was such a wonderful break to have for one looking for simplification and clarity. No job searching or worries about our future and money but simply time spent with my wife and children, walking in nature, taking long drives, eating ice cream, watching movies, swimming in lakes, finding turtles and rocks and flowers and wildlife. On of our memorable experiences was a trip to the Ormsby Tea Room that exists in a fully restored School House that dates back to the early 1920's, run by a delightful man named Ernie who took the time to talk with passion of how he has restored this place as well as another school house, his farm house home and currently a log cabin which once was the residence of Joni Mitchell's grandmother named Sadie McKee who grew up there. The place has a delightful dainty quality of a tea room with all the table dressings and polished china and silverware and the food is simple country cuisine in modest proportions but does the job of filling one up nicely. It so happens that Ernie is associated with the The Old Hastings Gallery by his sister-in-law and that they are all musicians in the family. He was very impressed with the idea that Joni Mitchells family had roots to Ormsby where her grandmother played a significant role in Joni's life and to whom Joni dedicated her first album. I was shown all the pictures of the restoration work of the school house and other projects available in binders amidst antiques and several bookshelves with antique books. The closeness of the interaction fit so nicely with the quaintness of the place and made me feel blessed to have made such a meaningful connection with someone new. Both with Andre, the farmer and Ernie I found two men who lived by their ideals and carved out something beautiful for themselves despite the odds and the impracticality of their devotions. Neither of these men have websites for their businesses or even Internet I am sure, but I hope that anyone who happens to stay up in Bancroft can take the time to experience these treasures themselves. Use this link to my wife's blog to see the pictures of the tea room http://pipodoll.blogspot.com/2011/06/tea-house.html