Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Watercolor and Waterlogue

Cherry blossoms are out in Vancouver this week and they have turned grey muddy days into magical pinks with yellow daffodils in full bloom too. Spring. At last.
I wandered all over the neighbourhood yesterday and I took about 200 photos and with my ipad turned them into watercolours using my new APP Waterlogue which converts a photo into a watercolour painting like this. Very cool! And there is a lot of room for adjustment of colour and style.
 But now I wonder if this is such a good thing. It certainly is fast? It might make a great base for finer paintings. I am not sure. What do you think?
In any case it was great fun. I almost want to get out my real watercolours to see if I could pull off one of these babies.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kindergarten Art


I am a little over the top happy with the way the Percolator APP on my iPad manipulates simple drawings by darling K's. They are magical.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring in Vancouver


I got these photos with my little camera while walking around my neighbourhood on Sunday. Spring is finally here while the rest of the country is still enveloped in cold temperatures and snow and ice. I thought this might cheer up a reader or two who are still looking at snow.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Percolating Kindergarten Art



The children I have been working with made some sweet drawings as backgrounds for their imaginary finger puppet plays. On a whim and with my iPad, I thought I'd see what Percolator app would do with their art. I think it is quite an amazing treat to see the results. Now what to do with all the beautiful images?

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Funky Finger Puppets

This was one of those light bulb ideas that wakes you in the night. At least that's what happened to me the other evening when I asleep after days of pondering about what we could do with the wonderful big sheet pastels the children made a week ago. I suddenly had this idea! If I reduce the photos I took of each drawing and then if I reduce them down to finger puppet size, the children would have their characters transformed into finger puppets. So I gave it a try since I have CorelDraw as a way to create this.
There were twenty cats and I managed to get eight on each sheet. Once I was satisfied with how the looked and how they worked when cut out and positioned on my fingers, I took them to a local printer and had a bunch run off.
I raced to the school for the afternoon with the class with the puppets printed on sheets of light weight card stock. But before the cutting out part, I talked to the kids about finger puppet shows and I asked them what kind of stories they might make for their puppets and what kinds of backgrounds they could make for their little imagined plays. I used crayons to make a short demonstration for them (since they always want me to draw for them and it seems to inspire them to want to draw their own stuff! ). And then the teacher and I encouraged them to think of what their scenes might be. They had lots of ideas and soon they were at their tables drawing a variety of adorable scenes on large sheets of paper.
Once completed, they received their sheets of puppets and they cut them out. They love their puppets and I think their teacher was pleased with the afternoon's project.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Up To Elbows

At the request of the teacher, we made pastel drawings of Splat The cat, a popular character with the kindergarten crowd. The first thing I did was to draw a big Splat with my pastels, because as an illustrator, I know that children love to watch an artist draw or paint. I keep it simple always. First, I showed them how to draw simple shapes and then I showed them how to blend with fingers. I showed them how dirty my fingers get. Once I finished the demo they couldn't wait to give it a try.
As expected, it was messy and the children were up to their elbows in black but the joy in the room could almost be measured by the sound of  laughter and happy conversations between the kids as their characters developed on their sheets of paper. We could have followed a more controlled template plan but I am so glad we let them loose to draw their own interpretations.
Each drawing seems to be enhanced by the small finger print smudges. I am in awe of their creativity.  I am hoping the parents don't complain about children arriving home with faces covered in soot looking as if they worked in a coal mine.



Saturday, February 22, 2014

Paint and Brushes

I took a few photos and played with Adobe Photoshop Elements trying for a comic book style to document a few images for the blog. The children seem to get so much satisfaction when the paint is out and the brushes are sweeping across big sheets of paper.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Funky Faces


I have been playing with a new APP for kids but I think a lot of adults who want to find that kid inside again might enjoy playing with it. These have my old lady face but it takes off twenty pounds and gives me back a neck. Laughing out loud here. My grandson loves Toca Boca APPS for young children and this one is really fun for anyone.
Here's me. Should I use one as an Avitar?
I suppose it takes off a lot of years and I look sort of like the kid I once was. I suppose you can call me a narcissist, but it was so much fun to play with it when I needed a break from a writing assignment yesterday.
If you have an iPad with camera version you can Google Toca Boca APPS and find Toca Hair Salon Me. It is an advanced version of the original Toca Hair Salon. I think it costs about four dollars. Worth every penny if you want a time waster with endless creativity. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day



Wishing everyone out there a Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you get lots of love and as much chocolate as allowed.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Art Project at Maple Grove

Here are a few photos of the January / February project with Maple Grove Ks and Ones. After it was finished, the teachers sent me photos of a display of the project placed in the main hall of the school right beside the office. I hope the children are feeling proud of
their work. The school's PAC group sponsored this Artist in Residence opportunity and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with two dedicated teachers and their classes.








Sunday, February 02, 2014

Percolated Fish

My new little iPad Mini has been filled with some lovely APPS. In the process of learning how to use new APPS I have discovered a whole new community of teachers who are experimenting and using iPads to help students create projects in many mediums. The possibilities are endless and exciting. So I have been experimenting too, as I learn how to use some of the ones that appeal to me. I think I will post a couple of images created first from an actual glue and paint and paper collage and then scanned and then sent to my iPad and then changed with an app called Percolator. This is addictive.  Below, the first is a collage pasted painting. The second and third adjusted in Percolator on my iPad.



Friday, January 31, 2014

Bugs and Butterflies Project

These photos are from the workshop yesterday with Ks and Ones. It was such a privilege to work with these children. They are so creative and original. Once they realized how easy it was, they took off with their art making. They claimed the banner as their own Magical Garden With Waterfall and they laid it all down piece by piece the way they wanted it to be. And it was beautiful.




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Painting With K's And Ones

I've been busy preparing to work with children in the schools this year. The first workshop was last Thursday with two separate workshops with Ks and Grade ones. I was slightly terrified and I over prepared and now I can say I did it! And I am still working on finishing all the children's art pieces. The process was a true learning experience and I did a lot of things wrong yet it seems the children had great fun and their pleasure with paint was a delight to observe.


I took a few photos and I am busy cutting out shapes to complete the project now. We really needed another two hours in order to complete what I wanted to do with them. But they didn't get around to cutting out seahorses because the paint would not dry and because I misjudged the time frame slightly !!!!
I offered to cut them out myself at home without much thought. So since Friday I have been taking each piece and cutting out shapes which should have been cut out by the children themselves. And since I am not five or six years old my scissors skills are pretty advanced when compared to the children (as long as I my brain keeps working right, touch wood) I began to see other shapes in their paintings and I began to ditch the seahorse idea and I started seeing other sea life in each child's painting. This is probably highly unethical when working with kids but after all I am not a teacher, and since it is too late to go back now that I have begun cutting, the project has taken a whole new direction. Woops.


I think I will blame it on creative process and I plan to give each child full credit for their brilliant colour use and brushwork and then I will add that an artist in residence did the lesser part of cutting out shapes that turned into fish and other things. I am sure there will be critics but I do believe the children will be happy with what I am doing with their paintings. I HOPE this will happen. I do hope nobody bursts into tears when they see their creature. I will definitely find out because there is no going back.
 Follow Up February 3 - By their reactions, I believe they all loved their sea creatures. And one teacher posted an article about the first part of the project on the school blog last week.
You can find it HERE.

I think they are happy and I am so glad. The second part of the workshop is in the above post. This time the children did the cutting out and they had so much fun!
This week I am going to another school to begin a similar project with a Kindergarten class.
The image at the bottom of this post is of the result of the first workshop with one class. The children did the painting and I cut each painting out freehand after I ditched the template idea. The other class ordered their own choice of sea life so the work is similar but different. I regret that I didn't take a photo of the entire batch.
Perhaps, if you are interested enough in doing a project like this one and have perhaps read this far, you get the idea. I have to admit, it took a lot more time than I had planned and I worked every day on it for two weeks until I finished all 44 painting collages. My home was covered in paper bits and glitter and the smell of tempera paint emanated from the recycle box in my work area but I had fun and I wanted so much to create something special for each child. And in the end it seems it all worked out.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas Everyone!
This was the sweet and gentle tableau this morning at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver. I adjusted the photo in elements to conceal identities. It sort of looks like stained glass don't you think?

And Google has been playing with some of my previous winter photos and I rather like the snow.



This nativity scene could use some sparkling stars I think. I wonder if Google has any stars hanging around?


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Fun


Countdown to Christmas! I may not have a tree to decorate this year, but I can use my imagination.
I have often wondered why we don't have little strings of lights to enhance umbrellas and make drivers aware of pedestrians on rainy winter days and dark nights.

Friday, December 20, 2013

White Christmas almost.


We don't often get snow in Vancouver. By the time tomorrow arrives it will be gone. But this morning it was the White Christmas of the song by Byng Crosby. But only for today. Of course I took my camera and captured a couple of photos. When I look at this tree now I see a goddess form with arms raised. My imagination runs away with me at times.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

At Play With Text


 Tagzedo is fun to play with. It looks complicated but it is easy, free to use and fun. Just remember to save your creations with a name to you computer.