Friday Two Cents: Valentine’s Day Kindness


This past week many students had a lot of exciting things happening at school. Monday was the 100thday of the school year; Tuesday we had a rare snow day and the schools were closed; Wednesday report cards went home and Thursday was Valentine’s Day.   Yet I saw something during Valentine’s Day that I thought is worthy of mentioning.  In a school I work at, the kindergarten teachers decided to do something different and dare I say daring.  Instead of giving parents a class list for the students and parents to make Valentine’s cards, they helped the students to each make a card and have everyone in the class sign it.  

When I heard of this idea I loved it right away.  I know that it would be a lot of work for the teachers to organize but I thought this would teach the students so many things in the process. First off it is Eco (environmentally) friendly. How many of us would go out and buy or create cards for February 14thto simply throw them into the trash on the 15th. Second it is in line with the idea of inclusion in the classroom.  The idea is that everyone gets a card but we have all seen that not everyone gets one and that one child feels terrible when they do not get a card.  Or worse specific children are targeted to not get any cards because someone else tells everyone to not give them one.  Along that same idea not everyone can afford to purchase cards and if they make homemade ones they are ostracised because of it.  

Valentine’s Day Card

I was so impressed with the idea I suggested it to other teachers and parents at other schools. Yet their response was less than enthusiastic. Many flat out rejected the idea. They said that many of the parents are into doing the cards and they go all out with cards, candy and other stuff. In fact many students are not writing names or messages on the cards but the parents are.   

I found this interesting and a bit disturbing.  Yet from what I have observed in our society I should not be surprised.  There are a lot of people interested in only showing off and making themselves feel good at another’s expense.  These cards would alleviate all these problems and self-centredness for many people. In short it gives a small act of kindness to everyone in the class and I know that even a small act of kindness can make you feel amazing.    

Inspiring Words from my Colleagues

When I was in teacher’s college many of us, myself included, was stressed out and at our breaking point.  Yet during a class a colleague handed out pieces of paper each with our names on it. The sheets would go around the room and everyone would write one thing, a phrase or one word about what they like about that person or what best describes that person. After we each got the paper and I can tell you once I say all the comments the feeling was amazing.  When I heard of these valentine’s cards, it reminded me of that activity and how I felt receiving it in the end.  Yes the cards involve simply writing your name, but your classmates still took the time to sign your card.  To a child that simple act of kindness, signing their card, would go a long way to making them feel amazing.  

In the end isn’t that’s what Valentine’s Day all about.  Sharing love and kindness with others.  I am reminded of the famous quote by Aesop …

‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ Aesop

My deepest thanks and highest praise to my colleagues in the kindergarten program for implementing this wonderful Valentine’s Day act of kindness.  

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Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Final Portrait 02


 

‘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.

 

Final Portrait 02

In the Final Portrait 01, I gathered all the caricatures for a staff portrait. Those were people whom I worked with in the after school program. In this second portrait I collected all the staff I worked with during school hours. I created two of the caricatures around Christmas at the same time as I created the other caricatures, yet the three others standing closest to my caricature; I decided to create as part of their graduation celebration. They were the teachers of the graduating class and I thought a nice gesture to create a Steampunk caricature to commemorate the occasion.

Instead of creating a new background I thought it was fitting to use the original I used for the other portrait. I found a great scene of some buildings along the River Seine and I drew a metal platform with stairs that you would use to get onto a ship. I have always loved ships and I was thinking that this group might be going a voyage. I am the Captain after all and what is a captain without a ship to command. Yet I did not want to use any ship, no. In the Steampunk style I imagined us waiting to board a dirigible. An airship with a massive balloon carrying an old sailing Man-o-War, like the HMS Victory. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the image you can see one flying into view.

I added the caricatures standing on the platform waiting for the ship to arrive to start our adventure. I placed my caricature at the front of the group to show that I was leading the way to board my ship. I added the soft-feathered frame and then I placed my personal logo ‘Paul G” to the lower right, but I was not sure what to call the portrait. I then thought of the graduation and came up with another name, yet with this second creation I went back to the original portrait’s name.   I wanted the portrait to inspire imagination, to believe that the impossible is possible. Therefore the title came out to be “Imagine the Impossible.”

With these people I did give them a portrait but not with all six of us in it. There were two different portraits but I decided to combine these caricatures into one portrait. They all loved their final portraits and I hope will enjoy this Final Portrait 02 of “Imagine the Impossible”.

Imagine the Impossible – Final Portrait 02

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Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Final Portrait 01


‘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.

Final Portrait 01

In the final image I gathered all the caricatures for a staff portrait. This is set in a   Steampunk style therefore I needed a Victorian Era background. I went through a few ideas, a garden scene, a drawing-room similar to something from Pride and Prejudice, a steamship (I do like ships) or a busy street in London. I thought long and hard and I wanted something that would inspire some imagination something fanciful but still had a sense of reality. Then I thought of the time I dressed up as a musketeer and the scene came to me.

Why should my setting be in London, why not in Paris? Therefore I found a great scene of some buildings along the River Seine and I drew a metal platform with stairs that you would use to get onto a ship. I have always loved ships and I was thinking that this group might be going a voyage. I am the Captain after all and what is a captain without a ship to command. Yet I did not want to use any ship, no. In the Steampunk style I imagined us waiting to board a dirigible. An airship with a massive balloon carrying an old sailing Man-o-War, like the HMS Victory. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the image you can see on flying into view.

I added the caricatures standing on the platform waiting for the ship to arrive to start our adventure. I am on the top platform with my falcon waiting for my ship. I added the soft-feathered frame and then I added my personal logo ‘Paul G” to the lower right but I was not sure what to call the portrait. Then the idea came to me. I wanted the portrait to inspire imagination, to believe that the impossible is possible. Therefore the title came out to be “Imagine the Impossible.”

This is the first group of educators I made the portrait and caricatures for. We went out for Christmas dinner and after I gave the staff their individual cards with their caricatures, I presented this final portrait to them all. They were all signed and dated and to say that they liked it would be an understatement. They all loved the final portrait and I hope you too will enjoy the final portrait of Imagine the Impossible”.

Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 17


‘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 17

The seventeenth caricature is a wonderful teacher whom I have worked with on many occasions. She is a wonderful person to work with and has a … quirky personality on top of everything else, which is a good thing. This person has one place she loves to visit and she always talks about, Scotland. Therefore this is where I began when making her caricature. I began with a kilt and a tartan that I created. I then drew in the corset and large shirt that would show a bit of cleavage. I then added the belt, sporran, and black boots. I drew her hair a bit wild because that goes with her personality and then topped it off with a top hat and goggles. Then what Scottish outfit would be complete without a Scottish Claymore. Therefore I drew her holding one and stepping on top of a crate of TNT. If you look closely I added another claymore as a pin on her kilt.

She loved her caricature, as did the many others. I hope you too enjoy the seventeenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Woman 17

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

Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 12  


    

‘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 12

The twelfth caricature is a wonderful teacher who always wears a smile and is a sweet heart to the core. She always has a nice thing to say and is the gentlest person I know. Therefore I wanted her caricature be a badass and show a different side of her then she wouldn’t normally show. I began with a corset-vest combination and then added a rolled up shirt that showed some cleavage. Instead of pants or a long skirt I drew her with a mini-skirt that showed a lot of leg. I then added the leather boots and two belts, one with bullets. Her hair comes down past her shoulders and then I put in goggles for an extra touch. However, instead of drawing her holding a gun or a rife I thought she would look tougher with a kick ass sword. I draw her with a sword that was more of a cross between a sword and an axe. The results were pretty badass.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the tough look of the caricature and she loved the sword. I hope you enjoy the twelfth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Woman 12

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