Friday Two Cents: It Is Within Me


 

This past week has been a busy one to say the least. It started with 100 days in school celebrations and activities with the students, then Pancake Tuesday, Valentines Day on Wednesday and then finally the Lunar Parade on Thursday with the Dragon I created. (Below are links to pages to see how I made the dragon.)  Oh yes added on top of everything else the report cards had to be handed out to the parents, parent teacher interviews and then filing of the reports.

Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 1

Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 2

Art Inspiration: Dragon’s Head Reconstruction, Stage 3

Yes this was a busy week if I do say so myself, yet through all this excitement I had prepared a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the activities. On Friday I went to Niagara Falls for an overnight trip to see Wayne Brady live. Wayne Brady is a fantastic entertainer whom you may have seen on “Who’s Line is it anyway” or “Lets Make a Deal”. The show was amazing and my stay at the Falls was quit relaxing.

I went alone and many people made a big deal about this. They could not understand that I needed some alone time away from everything. Just some time to clear my head and maybe do some art, have some fun and enjoy some entertainment. I guess they do not understand that I am happy when I do these things, either with someone or alone. Just as Marcus Aurelius once said …

 

‘Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.’ Marcus Aurelius

 

Many people say they are happy but are not open to the idea that others may have a different way of being happy. I know I am happy because it is within me.

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Comic Strips: The Fine Print


 

This month’s latest instalment of, The Craziest Things is coming out on Valentine’s Day since, as you may have guessed, it is Valentine themed. In this comic I explore the growing trend towards a more litigious society and with what is happening in the world when it comes to relationships.

Many of us have seen when someone says something it may be taken in the wrong way or come back and bit them in the behind. More and more we as a society are falling onto the law to help protect or prosecute many things.

I thought what would happen if the above trend was translated into the innocent world of giving Valentine cards. So many of us have given and received Valentine cards in our childhood. It was a time of innocent fun and an opportunity to say thank you to your classmates and friends for being your friend. Yet what if someone took it too far and wanted to protect them-selves for fear of some future scrutiny. When does it go to far?

I guess we should heed Winston Churchill’s warning…

‘If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.’ Winston Churchill

With this in mind, I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; The Fine Print.

 

 

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Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 15


 

‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Woman 15

The fifteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher who loves the children and has a personal favourite activity that I too enjoy, baseball. Her outfit is not really in the steampunk style but I did try to draw her caricature close to her personality and to the time period of steampunk. I began with her stance as if she is about to go up to bat or take down someone. I drew her uniform very close to the style of the women’s baseball league you may have seen in the movie A League Of Their Own, based the true woman’s league. Also I remember her wearing one very similar this one for Halloween. I then added thigh high stockings; a baseball cap and a baseball bat to give her that “I’m sweet but don’t mess with me” look.  

She truly enjoyed her caricature. She loved the uniform and mentioned that she has one like the one I drew. I told her I do remember but also that sometimes my caricatures come from the person’s own style too. I hope you enjoy the fifteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Woman 15

Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 14


‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Woman 14

The fourteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher who loves the children and to have fun while working with them. She is kind and gentle and I thought lets add a little naughty side to her persona. Therefore I began with a corset and white shirt then a short skirt to show off her long legs. She is a tall woman and I wanted to show this with the clothes she would wear. I drew the caricature with stockings and long knee-high boots to accentuate her height. I then added a top hat and goggles to show her long flowing hair. It is also something I know she would wear. The to finish off the look I gave her the biggest steampunked rifle I drew to show that she may be a nice sweet person but she is also a badass.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially her badass gun. She mentioned that she has boot like the ones I drew and I said I know I saw her wearing them once. Sometimes my caricatures come from the person’s own style too. I hope you enjoy the fourteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Woman 14

Friday Two Cents: Beating The January Blahs


 

This past week was not the January Blahs but at times it sure felt like it. The students where their usually sweet selves, yet the days seemed to drag on. Yet I was able to introduce a concept to the students I hope/should carry them on in their lives. I introduced sentence structure to them. Yeah you are probably thinking big deal, but it is to a first grader.

The students were writing sentences for sometime, however I noticed that many would simply string words together when writing them. Their oral language is good and many read well for first graders but I thought it wise to help them get a foundation in writing. I began with introducing the different parts of the sentence in a language they would understand. I created a chart to help them. We did some practice writing to reinforce this “What Makes A Sentence”. I also introduced a writing success criteria chart to help them. It is set up like a checklist/success criteria; something very similar to one I created to remind them to take their things home at the end of the day. Then during the week I introduced new activities that would involve them writing a sentence, such as in social studies we wrote about their favourite place in their neighbourhood. This all came together on Friday when we made sentence puzzles.
The students would write a sentence using the success criteria to help them. They would cut the words out and then ask another student to try to put the sentence back together and read the sentence. This way they can use the success criteria to help guide their thinking when recreating the sentence. The capital is at the beginning, punctuation at the end. Below you can see some of their sentences and some of them are pretty funny.

In the end we all had a good laugh and I hope they learned something. In the end I guess that is a good way to beat the January Blahs.

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Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 13


‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Woman 13

The thirteenth caricature is a wonderful teacher who is a good person through and through. She is a quiet soul and will always help you whenever asked. I have always thought of her as resembling Ariel from the Little Mermaid, therefore I decided to draw her caricature with this theme in mine. I began with a corset and then instead of a frilly dress, I drew a skin-tight dress along the thighs and then it would frill out at the knees to represent a mermaid’s tail. I added a blouse that showed some cleavage and a belt and feather hairpin. I added the navigational instruments of a compass, eyeglass and pocket watch to finish the look.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the dress. She and many noticed the mermaid reference right away. I hope you enjoy the thirteenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Woman 12

 

Friday Two Cents: Awaking Joy In Creative Expression And Knowledge


As the second week of me working in the grade 1 class came to an end, I believe the students and I are getting the hang of the new routine. I am trying to keep as much of the students routine they had with the other teacher but I am adding a few of my own touches.

One thing I introduced is a story time where I read a story picture book but I only read a few pages every day. They are large, colourful books that have about 100 pages. I have many Disney story books that fit this description and the students are familiar with many of these stories. I also have a bookmark that I use to mark where we left off. Every day I would read a few pages until Friday when I would finish off the story.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

This week we read “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the story seen in the original 1940 Fantasia. Many haven’t seen this piece and it was not too long for a first book. Every day I read a few pages and I would ask the students to predict what would happen next in the story. Many had some imaginative ideas but most came very close to what would happen next in the story. Every morning and even once or twice in the afternoon I was asked when I would continue the story.
I thought this is a wonderful way to introduce longer stories to them then they are used to and for them to know that they can read longer books. All they need is a bookmark to mark were they left off. The nice thing is that one student wanted my bookmark after I finished reading the book, however I suggested if they wanted they could make their own bookmark during their free time. I have a few strips of paper I use for making notes, the perfect size of a bookmark. I gave them one and then one by one the students wanting to make their own bookmarks too. Many even got some yarn to make tassels.

Student’s bookmark

But I think the clincher was when I told them that at the end of Friday I would show them the video of the original “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from the original 1940 Fantasia, but only if they were good. Of course they were and just before the end of the day we watched the 9-minute video. They were enthralled, not one of them talked during the 9 minutes. And even though it is all music they never said anything about it not having words. They were so excited by it; many asked what story I was bringing in next week. I told them they had to wait and see. They were mildly disappointed but they smiled and I think they knew that was going to be my answer.
Amazing. Simply bringing in a book to read over the week helped the students get introduced to longer books they could enjoy over days, inspire creativity in making bookmarks and enthusiasm for reading. That’s why I love being a teacher. I guess Albert Einstein was right when he said …

 

 

‘It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

 

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