Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Un froid de canard! It's Cold!

For my French & francophone friends, click on the image to read better the above notes. (& please excuse any errors.) My master's degree was about integrating arts into learning. For one of the 1st times in my life, I, as student, was encouraged to learn through my individual style, thereby later accepting various learning styles of my students. I try to study French grammar & vocabulary at least 15 minutes each day, using a traditional graph paper notebook (très linear). But here is an alternate way. French language integrated with my non-linear mode of sketching! I wonder if you have a favored learning style or mode for comprehension & expression.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Little Snow Folks

Snow, all day yesterday. Snow! not rain!
I shovelled & roof raked, conscientious adult, I got it done.
But, for the first time in many years, I also stopped to play.
If an adult needs justification for play,
then let it be for the serious purpose of "Stress Reduction". 
This morning I dressed these little snow folks that were born yesterday.
Just as I was finishing the school bus rode by
& some of the children quickly sat up, pointing. I waved, they waved.
If an adult needs justification for taking the time to play,
then let it be to make children happy.
But, here's the thing:
A little joy, a little love, no better justification than that!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Daily Sketching: Sunday at the Café

Sunday early at Mornings in Paris. What a great way to start the day!
Sip, draw, write, gaze, listen, fully relaxed, fully present. I was so grateful for the time!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cycles: One Year Ago Today

Sketchbook page, January 12, 2012  Canson #1557 Drawing pad, 9X12, 90 lb paper 

Keeping a journal is a way for me to glimpse into my past. Seasonal patterns often emerge. The annual return of the morning light of January & February energizes me.  

A year ago today I had started a practice of Daily Drawing, influenced by a some of you at Blogspot. By March I was getting ready to go on a trip to France & I abandoned it for my travel journals.

Yesterday I finished a week long art class on creating picture books. It put me on an edge of comfort: drawing from memory & imagination. It's something I, like many (most?) children, loved to do in childhood. Then some outside voices shut that down & sketching the concrete life before me became my trusted process. I'm continuing to play with the new/old practice of creating from imagination. And today I've taken out what's left of my year old sketch pad so I can do one observational journal drawing. Will I do this for the next 365 days?
The future will take care of itself, they say. 

Last year there was a big snow on this day, this year we're in the midst of a January thaw. Looking at the above page, a year ago I was in a state of gratitude. 365 days later, that hasn't changed. 

I'm glad to be here. Good January 12 Day to You!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fruit Tree: Vietnamese Proverbe

Such a lovely Vietnamese proverb. 
Click on the photo to enlarge.
The potted tree in the drawing is based on one I saw on 
Rue St. Dominic in the 7th arrondissement in Paris 
on one fine April day, 2009. 
What a contrast to our Maine January snow, 2013!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Magical Powers of Snow People

I haven't been sketching much lately, but the other morning I sketched 
a shop window display looking out the window 
of my café in the Old Port. 
Several years ago a snowfall created a perfect medium for creating snow folks. Don't you love the snowdog? One year, the Child Me made a snowhorse. You could actually sit on it & rock it as if you were galloping! 
Snowfamilies were out in full force the year of the snow sculpture snow.
Personalities appeared, & you felt the energy of the families working together.

I had few picture books as a child, but I loved the ones I had. One of them was a story of a talking snowman who eventually had to melt (no, it wasn't Frosty). I think there were icicles who told the child how sad they were to leave, but that they would be back the following year. I don't recall the name of the book & can't even find it on the site "Stump the Bookseller". But the impression was deep & lasting.  Then, in the 80's, at my graduate school, I first saw the film based on Raymond Briggs' book The Snowman. 
Here was a snowman who danced, flew, & even visited the boy inside his house, all told in gentle animation with lovely music. I was charmed all over again.I did my final project on an integrated curriculum around the theme of snow.

I can hear my mother's voice right now: "Go out & play in the snow while we have it!" 
OK, Inner Mom Voice, I'm putting on my boots.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Light is Returning

We took the back road from Belfast to Camden, on our way home from last night's community celebrations in Belfast. The shadows & sunlight played with the snow today, drawing & sculpting masterpieces!
Ducks under the footbridge in Camden, gathering to discuss something of great importance. Perhaps discussing us (rather loudly I might add) & the fact that we hadn't brought them any food. 
As this January first night falls, it offers comfort & well being rather than November's heavy darkness.
The light is returning.