Friday, June 3, 2011

Their Home, Too! (continues…)

It’s been a while since I’ve updated the Peacebus art project story entitled ‘Their Home, Too!’ This Spring has been so busy with working six days a week, participating in climate change marches and bike rallies, getting my garden planted (Yes – I’ve also been neglecting sharing many gardening stories, too, but I hope to catch up with this soon) and City Council meetings to protect local forestlands! Yikes! Saving the world sure is busy business!!!!

The first story - - tells how this project came into being and where it is heading.

This story is the continuing journey of art and inspiration.

But first, let’s remember where we left off. At this point 18 of the 63 animal peace artworks had been completed. It was at this early stage when I realized that this art project – like every art project I design – was going to be a lot more work than I had originally guessed! Surprise! Surprise! NOT!

To help this project move along more swiftly, I had to be resourceful…

…like recruiting members of my family! Joanne and I went for a short visit to my parents’ house and soon I had the pencil crayons out and imaginations began to churn.

Thanks Sandra! Your ladybugs are very delightful!!!!

Thanks Mom!!!! I’m glad to see that you give a hoot about Nature! My mom has been delving into the world of watercolour painting for many years, so this pencil crayon drawing gave her a chance to experience another colourful medium.

After a short visit to the beautiful countryside, where I grew up, it was back to London to see what drawings my students had created for this project…

I could see that Thalia and her younger sister Kendra were inspired by thoughts of Easter when they worked together to create this art peace!!!!

Mira and some of the other young girls on the bus had spent the last few weeks singing songs about Spring… cuz it was so late in coming. “We want sunshine for the flowers! We want sunshine for the flowers! We want sunshine for the flowers! No more snow! No more snow!” I think that Mira also had Spring in her mind when she created this artwork filled with blue butterflies!!!!

I was also getting a little tired of the cold, rainy and snowy weather and so I created this drawing (which soon became known as ‘the bird on a stick’) to remind me of the warm waters and sunshine that I enjoyed while in Mexico in February.

Once I start a project and become comfortable with the processes I’ll begin to look for new ways to challenge the original concepts. The students had become masters to the concepts of monochromatic colour schemes and their animal drawings were showing a huge amount of imagination. It was time to make things a bit more interesting.

I wanted to introduce them to the creative rendering techniques that date back thousands of years. My own earliest art creations were also inspired by the Canadian West Coast Haida Natives. For this part of the project I did the research of Haida animal designs for the students. Then, I would give them the art design and their job was to trace the design and then colour it in.

Korey was the first student to complete a Haida inspired artwork for this project. She told me that she thought this style of artwork was really cool!

For her next design, I worked with her to travel back in time even further. Soon this artwork was created to honour the first artists of planet Earth and how they drew images of animals on cave walls.

As you can see, the ‘blueprint’ image was slowly being filled in.

I always waited until I had a small collection of new artworks to add to the roof of the Peacebus, before I added them. The next day all the students would ‘Ooohhhhh!’ and ‘Aaahhhh!’ as their eyes delighted in so many new colourful designs.

Slava’s Haida duck design was very impressive. Although I had to assist with the background of this image, I was amazed that this Grade 2 student was able grasp the concept of monochromatic design with so much grace. He was able to divide the colours of the sun into their proper location – the top part being drawn in purple and the bottom part being completed in blue.

Angela is another student who continuously amazes me with her creative ability. Not only did she trace her Haida Blue Jay and lay out her colour scheme with precision, but she also added in an environment for the Blue Jay, with a tree and a branch for it to sit on.

Since I really love Haida Native art, I couldn’t help but create a few more!!!!

Meanwhile, Michaela was exploring the undersea world with her art creation depicting some peaceful Sea Horses!!!

After a few more days even more drawings were completed and handed in to me…

One morning, one of the students began chatting with me about this project. She asked me if all the drawings would be completed before the end of the school year. I told her that there was still a lot of work to be done, but I was sure that we would be able to finish in time. She asked me if she could recruit some more students. I smiled and said, “Sure!”

“Okay, girls!” she stated, “We have some art to do!”

Then Mira pointed at a student and said, “Kaela! Do you want to do some animal art for Mr. Jim?” Kaela said, “Yes!” “What’s your favourite animal?” Mira would then ask. “Kitty Cats,” Kaela replied. “What’s colour do you want to do? Your choices are blue, green or purple.” “Green!” Kaela replied. And on and on this went for the rest of the bus ride.

In my head the echoes of my own laughter were ringing!!!! I thought that this turn of events was absolutely hilarious!!!! Bravo, Mira! You are my hero!!!!

Since all of my newest art recruits were all in Kindergarten and up to Grade 2, I figured that they would need a bit of guidance to help steer them in the right direction. I came up with the idea of creating colouring sheets for them. That way their kitty cats would look like kitty cats and their mice would look like mice!

I spent the afternoon on the internet stealing colouring sheet designs. I would then trace these designs into my special ‘art box’ and adapt them to suit my needs. This new approach to this project was an instant hit with the younger students!

I could tell that the students had a great time colouring in their designs. It also looked like some parents became involved, too!!!!

Well, I think that I’ve done a fairly decent job of updating my stories about this project. There sure is a lot of really cool and colourful artwork filling the space between all of these words!

The land masses of the Earth are now filling in nicely. The arc of the Earth is becoming more visible and pronounced. And the rings of the sun are distinctive as they cut their way through the universe!!!!!

I hope that this project is as enjoyable for you as it is for me. I feel like a star is going Super Nova from a place deep inside of me! I’m so totally inspired!!!!! Thank you students of the Peacebus.

I will look forward to sharing even more stories and more artwork very soon. Until then, simply remember that the Earth is ‘Their Home, Too!’

Mr. Jim

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