Monthly Archives: June 2011

Run, jump, smile

We recently participated in the local homeschool trackmeet.  B10 had a successful and enjoyable day as did the girls.  The track isn’t quite up to the standard of the tracks A14 has been training on but it did the job.  The meet includes several sprints, long jump, standing broad jump and shotput followed by 4×100 relays and an all age 800m.  All the children did all the events and were a little weary at the end.

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Iceland tour

Today the girls set off for Iceland with Stellae Boreales for a ten day, 6 performance tour.  They were heading to Toronto by bus and then flying direct to Reykjavik.  Hopefully the members of the ensemble will be blogging about their activities each day.  We have been watching the weather reports and the daily high hasn’t risen above 15°C in the last month but I think there is a 17°C forecast over the next few days.  While they are there they will experience 22 hours of daylight which is going to be strange I’m sure.

While they are gone B10 and I are painting his room.  Today’s task was to clear it completely and move all the contents into A14’s room, where he will live for the next little while.  Tomorrow we tackle the wall paper removal.

Art Update

I haven’t written about my art class since last June but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been doing art.  When we resumed in September it was a smaller class, just 3½ members.  We started off with some drawing and sketching exercises and then moved into an acrylics unit.  I am not very comfortable with acrylics and despite my reading and practising I didn’t feel that I was able to guide my students very well.  We continued doing some sketching each week and worked on two landscapes in acrylic: one realistic and the other with a monochrome colour scheme plus a black silhouette image.

Just before Christmas we signed up for a pottery class and created quite a selection of gifts as well as a few pieces to keep ourselves.  During our first lesson we created bowls and platters, large and small. Our teacher showed us how to make mugs the second week and we created some candle holders as well.  During the final week we glazed all the pieces that had survived the kiln; there were a few casualties.  Everyone enjoyed doing pottery so we hope to do it again and include some lessons on the wheel.

After Christmas we returned to drawing exercises, both still life and faces.  We had been drawing before Christmas as we always began with a warm up exercise of one sort or another.  One of our first still life subjects was a classic one given to me by every art teacher I ever had and which I see again and again in books: the humble capsicum, or, as they say here, pepper.  I expected complaints from my class at being asked to draw vegetables but everyone enjoyed the exercise as we did them in pencil, charcoal, watercolour pencil and fine tip marker. Over several weeks we also did lemons, shoes and toy cars before the artists chose a few fruit or vegetables to create their own still life arrangement to draw.

Practising drawing faces turned out to be difficult but quite amusing at times. We used the guidelines given in various books to get our proportions right but also  used each other as models.  It is safe to say that most of our sketches were hardly flattering.  It was a very good exercise however and we now know more the relative positions and sizes of all the facial features.

After completing our faces unit each of the three girls in the class embarked on a project of their own choice to be entered in the Young at Art competition held by the City of Ottawa.  The competition is open to 12-19 yearolds.  A14 chose to do some digital art using the Bamboo we gave her for Christmas.  She took a photograph of the canal in winter, desaturated it and turned it into a spring or summer scene at dusk.

P16 chose to paint a watercolour of a Peruvian child bundled in a traditional blanket.

H13 tried several ideas before settling on one of the projects we had done in class: capsicums drawn using charcoal, watercolour pencil and graphite pencil.

All three submissions were very well done but unfortunately only a selection are picked for display and winners are chose from those displayed.  A14’s digital print Reflections at Dusk was chosen as the winner this year in the junior level of the “Other Media’ category.

Our last unit for the year was abstract art.  The first task required everyone to choose a colour scheme, either cold or warm, and a shape to be repeated throughout the abstract design.  Most of us tried several different approaches to this task.  The second abstract project required a mass of liquid coloured paint, again in a cool or warm colour scheme, into which imprinted different textures.

Spring soccer

The first two games of the season were cancelled due to wet weather and soggy fields but B10 and our friend P11 are now playing soccer twice a week.  As they both loved the Percy Jackson books, being in the Olympians team is a bonus.  So far they have won once, lost once and tied twice.