Archive for the ‘art’ Category

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a little bit of mythology

February 24, 2010

My current teaching practice is with a class of grade fours that are currently in their Norse Mythology block.

Other than recognizing the name of the God, Thor, Norse mythology has been completely foreign to me. There are 9 worlds with unusual names like Muspelheim, Alfheim, Jotunheim, Midgard and Svartheim. Those names are among the easier things to pronounce – the characters, the things they carry, etc. are all strange and new. The world tree, Yggdrasil, is a little more typical of the names in this mythology.

For next week I’m working on telling a story of the three norns: Urda who sees the past, Verdandi who sees the present and Skulda who sees the future. The norns are a mysterious bunch and they spin together the threads of past, present and future for each human beings life.

The class teacher has an image of the different worlds and other key elements on the chalkboard and the children seem quite interested in the three women who live among the roots of Yggdrasil. Not only will I be telling a story in front of a class for the first time but I’ll also be leading them in a shaded colour pencil drawing (another first for me) sometime next week. I still have a few days to prepare but today I played around a little and did a first sketch of the type of drawing I plan to lead them in. Skulda’s face is rarely seen so I want her to appear a little further back in the shadows of Yggdrasils roots. There is a drawing in each of the books I have but I thought looking back to the past, straight on for the present and forward for the future would be helpful. I’m not sure whether I’ll go with having them staggered from left to right as well or one directly above the other. All things for me to fine tune in the coming evenings I guess.

three norns

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a few of my paintings

February 20, 2010

Wow, I’ve been horrible with photos and info on my teacher training. I downloaded some photos of the painting work I did in the fall and it’s high time I shared it! Nothing too earth shattering but a learning and growing process none the less.

catching up on photos of fall 2009 paintings.

catching up on photos of fall 2009 paintings..

catching up on photos of fall 2009 art

More recently we experimented with our adult interpretations of the early parts of the Hebrew creation story. This painting exercise was so liberating and exciting for me – I’m even pleased with the result. I don’t expect I’d want to lead grade three students in flicking water across their page but you never know;)

hebrew creation story - feb 10

hebrew creation story part 2 feb 10

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progress

February 3, 2010

I learned to knit almost 15 years ago and it came so quickly and easily. Not so with crocheting.

I had always heard crocheting was hard on the wrist and mine are not what most people would call “good”. Between that and living so far from the two people I knew who could crochet I never saw the need to learn how. That could present a bit of a challenge should I wind up wanting to teach handwork down the road….

Thankfully my teacher training has included some basic crochet work. As you can see from the photo below, this new “art” hasn’t come easily to me. Granted, I was still wearing two velcro covered thumb splints when I was working on the blue one. Some blocking would improve the situation but this way I get a constant reminder of how far I’m going.

first attempts at crochet

My crocheting sister gave me the cutest apple cozy for Christmas two years ago – as a gag gift I think – and it’s been so useful that I’ve wanted to duplicate it for a while. I’ve tried following the patterns I can find on line but none of them are as beautiful. The purple little spiral I have going is the closest I’ve found so far. Should I succeed I’ll be sure to post a photo of the original and my creation.

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two thumbs up

January 25, 2010

Yeah! I have my hands back, and with them a much improved outlook on life.

I find injuries so frustrating because it means taking a break from the activities I love and in a sense, losing a piece of myself too. No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to avoid the frustration that reluctantly draws me inwards and away from the light. It seems especially silly given what sorts of things other people around the world are dealing with every day.

In any case, I’m happy to be “back” and to celebrate, I experimented with drawing this weekend. It’s a tepid start into something I’ve done so little of but I hope to carve time for more of it in the future.

experimenting with chalk

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math geek

January 15, 2010

Okay, I don’t really think that’s me… Kevin is much more likely to fit that description but there might be a change brewing.

When I returned to school for the New Year we had a one week math course with a math professor/Waldorf parent and it got me all fired up about math. Then I learned that I would be with a middle school class during their geometry block, starting this week. The geometry I got in high school was easy enough for me to follow but it always seemed sooo dry and boring. Actually most of high school math was like that or missed me completely (I’m thinking the calculus we did with graphing calcuators – ugh).

After last week I was all excited about math, but concerned about the unfamiliar task of working with young adolescents and terrified about how to bring geometry in a way that would actually connect with them. I’m so thankful that I get to work with such a wise and sense aware mentor. I’m eating up all the new and interesting things I can learn about the golden section, compass and straight edge geometric constructions and the platonic solids. My head is spinning about all the cool things I need to investigate further and at the same time, I’m getting to experience some things that don’t usually come with math in school. Namely, looking at the golden section as used in art, exploring geometry with clay, leading meditative reflection, discovering the meaning of “new” words, finding an appetite for my own inner reflection and so much more.

And yeah, this math part… that piece about wanting to be a math teacher, the very thing that motivated me to even think about becoming a teacher so many years ago, is burning ever brighter within me. I love it and can’t wait for next week’s adventures!

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the book

December 30, 2009

the book with leather ties

I wanted to hold off in sharing the photos of what I created for my brother-in-law until after Christmas and I nearly forgot to share them at all!

We learned a simple book binding technique with Japanese binding in school and while I still haven’t taken a picture of what I created there I made sure to document this project before it hopped on a jet plane. My brother-in-law and sister are both artists and when I was taking my urban design courses I learned that he’s can be quite a prolific sketcher. They both appreciate hand made and our exchange is strictly “second hand or hand made and it better be good” so I figured this project was safe. Plus it’s useable/consumable and those are rules I like to follow too.

inside cover of the book

This project took longer than I expected based on what I did at school but a big part of it was supplies. I wanted to fill it with sketch paper but made the spine to thick for what was left on my sketch pad and I lent my paper cutter out during the middle of my construction process. The book is by no means perfect but I’m confident it will be used. And if nothing else, I know my sister likes it!

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relax mode

December 22, 2009

After a week of trying to get things done and being frustrated by my sore hands I’m finally getting into the season and relaxing a little bit.

My main gift in my family gift exchange is done and in the hands of the recipient, we had a great time with friends on Sunday evening, Kev’s folks are here, and we’ve had some low key evenings with friends. Life is good again!

I haven’t been able to do as much sewing as I would like but when I got word that my mother had broken her wrist on Friday I felt compelled to move into action. (No my mother does not have weak bones or a propensity to fall.) She was complaining about the hospital issue sling and when I had the fracture that changed my outlook on skiing, hockey and mountain biking, I had a similar problem so I bought a more comfortable one. I thought I’d throw it in with the package my sister was taking home but it’s navy and white and I knew my mom would wear it reluctantly because it’s so darn obvious. Taking into account her love of green and corduroy I fashioned this:

mom's sling

It should get to her tonight.

In addition to cleaning up the house, I’ve been trying to make some of our blah areas look a little nicer. Last week I covered up our reference library (which is heavily used in the summer but sits dormant through most of the winter) and made a home for our candles and the plant from the kitchen. Since my wrist and thumb have settled down I was finally able to replace the pieces of our window trees that have disappeared since last December and today I also made a swag for our door.

transformed bookshelf

snowy trees

trees and SNOW!

Following in my mom’s footsteps we always have a swag of conifers and cones at this time of year but since we haven’t made it to the u-cut tree farm and I don’t believe in paying money for branches our door has been empty. Whether we’ll have a tree or not remains to be seen so I waded through the knee deep snow to clip a sampling of twigs from our backyard. It’s small and simple but it works for me!

door swag

Oh, and how could I forget baking!  There’s been chocolates that Kevin and his mom can eat, chocolate almond bark for the rest of us, caramel popcorn, caramel coated puffed sorghum, cosmic power cookies and more…  These treats alone would be too sweet so we’ve also been enjoying salsa and corn chips, veggies and hummus and of course, oranges.  I hope you and yours are enjoying a happy holiday season too!