Yesterday when on my way to meet a friend, I stopped at an unknown to me subway station. The station is relatively new and is near university grounds. As I walked out of the station, the painted electric box caught my eye.
I have noticed that a number of electric boxes around the city have been painted and I have admired them. I decided to snap a few pictures of this one to share.
I love the vibrant colours the artist used as well as the patterns. The artwork really stood out to me and I was happy to see it. The artwork brings a bit of colour to the neighbourhood and changes something dull and grey into something of beauty.
To be honest I thought of Becky while snapping the pictures – I am sure she would have enjoyed seeing this as part of her perspectives challenge last month.
As I walked away from the electric box yesterday, I made a note to myself to snap pictures of any others I may come across.
Have you seen any unexpected artwork recently? Where was it?
The Ontario Curriculum of Visual Arts for grades 1 and 2 encourages the exploration of lines, colour, and a variety of media with which to create art. For one of my lessons created on the remote teaching platform, I thought students would enjoy a break from math and literacy to create a little and work with paint.
After asking them to watch some videos – in French – on the life and art of Vincent van Gogh, I asked my students to use the painting titled Starry Night as an inspiration for their own night scene.
In order to determine whether the project was possible, I decided to do a painting of my own. I laid out my materials for the project: acrylic paint, a paintbrush, a jar of water, a pencil, a sheet of card stock, a plastic fork, and a copy of Van Gogh’s painting.
For my first step, I lightly penciled in what I wanted to paint. I looked to the original painting for inspiration, knowing that I would not be able to copy the original exactly.
To recreate the lines seen as in the original painting, I used a plastic fork. For the lines to show up, I noticed that I had to layer the paint thickly onto the card.
I painted section by section and then used the fork in specific areas before the paint dried.
I enjoyed the activity and found it calming. I am hoping that the children I work with will find it calming as well – especially those who enjoy creating art with paint.
I like the effect of using the fork on the painting and am now thinking of other ways in which my students can practice this technique.
The acrylic paint is a bit sticky to use – or maybe it is because the paint I had was a little dry. The next time I do this activity (hopefully when in the classroom), I will attempt the task with tempura paint. It would be interesting to make a comparison and to see which medium is more effective.
My final product is not bad for a first attempt though it it nowhere near to what my daughters (who are art students) would produce.
I now look forward to seeing what my students create.
Have you attempted to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night?
Yesterday I chose to go another route for my morning walk and I came upon this beautiful addition to someone’s garden. The owners of the home have been working on some rock art during their time of social isolation.
The colour of the rocks and stones attracted my eye, as did the patterns and the sayings that had been painted on the larger stones.
I could not help but smile at the rhyming phrases.
What has made you smile the past week of social isolation?
Since the beginning of September and the start of the new school year, our living room has become an art studio as my youngest daughter explores painting techniques and works on her homework assignments.
I find it interesting to look at her assignments and to see her imagination come to life. It is also interesting to see the way she works. I am thinking soon she can give me ideas to use in my classroom!
Before our trip to Paris in July, I asked my family to share with me the spots that they would like to visit in this well known European city. My eldest daughter wanted to visit the Georges Pompidou museum of Modern Art. We set aside a day to visit the exhibitions at this venue.
There was plenty to see – and all of it different to the art we had seen until then. One piece really stood out to me – and I could not help but exclaim when I saw what the artist had done (so much so that the guard could not but help smile at my reaction). In order to appreciate the bust, you had to walk around the sculpture and look at it from different viewpoints.
The artist of this bust was Wang Du and the title of the work is called Le Baiser (The Kiss.) – 2005 The explanation accompanying the work is as follows:
Former Chinese dissident, Wang Du, found refuge in France in 1990 where he discovered the media whirlwind, typical of Western society, which would inspire his work. In Le Baiser he abandons the sphere of the media for a more poetic register. Based on an image from the film 3-Iron (2004) by South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, this sculpture alludes to the artist’s own project of acting as double to the media, as one actor may double for another in a film. In place of Rodin’s idealistic and almost abstract work of the same title, Wang Du offers a cold and precise image which he describes as “a hybrid configuration between treason and loyalty, sacred and profane, romanticism and realism”.
I spent quite a bit of time admiring this work of art and I will not forget it for a while.
(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge, Square in September. This month we are posting pictures featuring in the pink, i.e., photos featuring the colour pink, something ‘in the pink’ of health, or those which leave you ‘tickled pink’)
My eldest daughter is getting more confident in sharing her artwork. This year, she submitted one of her pieces to the Youth Arts Program run by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The piece she submitted was created during the summer workshop she had attended during the summer at OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University).
When we attended the ceremony, we were so proud that her work had been accepted and was on display. It was also an opportunity for her to browse through the work of other artists her age.
Last week I could not help but smile as I passed my daughter lying on the floor in the living room. She was stretched out on the ground with her sketch book in front of her and planning her next assignment.
It is always a pleasure to see her enjoying the process of her work.
Last Thursday I went to an Exploration Classroom that had been set up as an Art Room. As with any place where art is created, paintbrushes were plentiful.The colours stood out and the careless arrangment of the brushes and makeshift palettes caught my eye. I like that the pots were recycled containers, and that the trays used to hold the vegetables we buy were being reused for another purpose. This is not a sight that would be seen in my classroom as we do not do painting often (maybe once a month) but it is a sight that I am sure is seen in may art classes across the Board.
When Fall begins in Toronto, the pumpkins begin to show. I like the look of the small decorative pumpkins and I knew my students would as well. I bought a few at the grocery store with the intention of doing some sort of activity with them.
I decided to introduce them to the concept of Still Life. I showed them some of the paintings created by the Masters, and some that had been created by modern artists. I then asked them to create their own Still Life of the pumpkins using the medium of coloured pencils.
After this exercise, I helped the children to create the Success Criteria for the next part of the activity. These are the criteria that they came up with after looking at the gallery of drawings:
I colour in between the lines.
I use sharpened pencils.
I am satisfied with my drawing.
I take my time.
I do not scribble.
I use different colours.
The next step in the Still Life activity was for the children to re-create their own Still Life using the medium of oil pastels. An improvement was seen in the drawings as the children focused on the criteria that would make their work successful.
Once their work was done, I had an one-on-one consultation with each child to discuss their success with the task. The children took note of two of the things they done successfully – and one thing they could do to improve the product of their work. I scribed for them and pasted the result of our discussion at the back of their work for their parents to read.
Then the real fun began: the painting of their Still Life.
The result is an array of beautiful, well thought out paintings that the children are proud of.
The bulletin board outside my classroom now shows the children’s progress through the Still Life activity. Some examples of student’s work is displayed for the parents to look at.
The completed works of art will be placed in each child’s portfolio which will be sent home at the end of the year for both the children and parents to admire for many years.