Valentine’s Love Inspired by Jim Dine

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“For me, drawing is everything.. ”

- Jim Dine

Jim Dine was born  in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 16th,  1935. His real name is James and growing up was nicknamed “Jimmy.”  He began creating art at a very young age and liked to go to art museums.  He was Dyslexic and didn’t learn to read very well until he was 22.  Dine states that as a child the only thing he could read was poetry.  His Mother died when he was just 12 years old.

Dine studied at the Cincinnati Arts Academy during the early 1950s. He also received his education from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School. In 1957, Dine graduated from Ohio University.

Dine incorporates images of everyday objects in his art that fuse personal passions and everyday experiences. His repeated use of familiar and personally significant objects, such as a robe, hands, tools, and hearts, is a signature of his art.

Artists in our class used oil pastels, liquid watercolours and grape seed oil to create their Valentine’s Day masterpieces.

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Sunrise Impressions – Inspired by Claude Monet

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“My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions of the most fleeting effects.”

-Claude Monet 

Claude Monet was born in Paris, France in 1840. When he was young he did not like being confined to a classroom and was more interested in being outside.  He filled his school books with sketches of people, including caricatures of his teachers.

Monet loved to set up his easel outside and paint his pictures en plein air.  He even had a small houseboat and would paint the scenes he saw from that view.

Monet was a founder of Impressionist Painting.  Monet would use strong colours and bold short brushstrokes.  Turning away from the blended colours and evenness of classical art, he placed colours side by side to create a division of colours.  The term Impressionism comes from the title of his painting: Impression, Sunrise.

Students created their own sunrise paintings using liquid watercolours and acrylic paints.

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Inspired by Banksy

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Banksy is the pseudonym of a “guerrilla” street artist known for his controversial, and often politically themed, stenciled pieces of art.

Banksy’s identity remains unknown. He is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, around 1974. He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s.

He is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art. This documentary was nominated for an academy award.

Banksy’s artwork is characterized by images that are often combined with slogans. His work often has political themes, critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is also known for his installation artwork.

Students used chalk pastels to create their own wall to stencil their graffiti on to. We were inspired by the Banksy piece referred to as “There is Always Hope”. Using a stencil they applied the image of a young girl who has just let go of her balloon.

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Landscapes Inspired by Tom Thomson

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Tom Thomson was born August 5th, 1877 in Claremont Ontario.  He was the sixth of ten children. Although he was always interested in the arts, he did not devote his career to painting until he was 30.

In 1904, while working as a draftsman he met members of the Group of Seven.  Although Thomson was closely associated with the artists in the Group of Seven, the Group of Seven was not founded until after his death.

To offset his art career, Thomson worked as a firefighter, a ranger and a guide to Algonquin Park while living on his own in a shack on Canoe Lake.  Here he produced his most famous work: Jack pine, West Wind and Northern River.

Thomson died mysteriously on a canoe trip in 1917 at 39 years old.

Students used watercolours, acrylic paint and chalk pastels to create their own landscapes inspired by Tom Thomson.

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Birch Trees at the Swansea and Humbercrest Craft Sales

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This holiday season we participated at two of our schools craft fairs, Swansea Public School and Humbercrest Public School. We had many visitors to our booth and participants created some gorgeous birch tree winter landscapes. I love the colours!

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Nefertiti Inspired Silhouettes

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Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten and Egyptian Pharaoh. With her husband she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.

We were inspired by the bust of Nefertiti, presently exhibited at the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.

Students used a combination of chalk and oil pastels to draw and decorate their Queens. A bit of gold paper was added at the end to add sparkle and a few hieroglyphs.

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Inukshuk’s Inspired by Ted Harrison

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“One curator said he didn’t want my work in his gallery because it was so simple even children understood it. I thought, what a wonderful tribute!”

-Ted Harrison

Before the Christmas holidays we were invited into the JK/SK classrooms at Runnymede Public School to do a special project inspired by the Canadian artist, Ted Harrison. The students were very enthusiastic and did a great job on their Northern Landscapes. They learned how to use chalk pastels and how to blend them for a brilliant sky. Next we sponged on snow to fill the bottom of our creations. And lastly we applied collage to build our Inukshuks.

Ted Harrison was born in England in 1926.  In 1950 he received his teaching certificate and began his 28 year career in education. He had a great interest in travel and taught in many different parts of the world, including Malaysia, India, East Africa and New Zealand before immigrating to Canada with his wife Nicky and their son Charles in 1968.

They settled in a small town called Carcross just outside Whitehorse in the Yukon. His love of the land and people of the Yukon has brought him national acclaim.   He makes simple landscapes even simpler.

Ted Harrison’s paintings are iconic, recognizable and distinctly unique.  His paintings are mostly in horizontal sections.  In the foreground there are people, animals and other objects.  In the background is the Canadian Northern landscape. His paintings are made up of brilliant colors, never shaded, and not always naturalistic – deep purple hills and lime green water.  His signature lines give contrast to the brilliant colours.

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