Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Accidental Art

How do you have accidental art?

A couple of years ago while holidaying on Moreton Island in Queensland, I found some lovely large flat leaves in the garden. I painted some scenes on them and eventually consigned them to my art folder.

Last year, I was working with a student during lunch time and a few of the Year 5 girls were looking through my art folder and came across the leaf paintings. I was busy and distracted at the time and subsequently wasn’t really listening when one of the girls asked me a question.

My answer was “Yes, I’m sure that would be fine.” And I waved them away. About five minutes later, I had leaves landing in front of me on the table and instructions for what the children wanted painted on their leaves.

Their question had been, “If we find some leaves, would you paint a picture on them for us.” I ended up painting about a dozen leaves for the children.

The moral of this story could be – Always listen to children before answering them!

But my moral for this has turned out to be – Sometimes happy accidents happen!

I enjoyed painting on the leaves and I improved my technique with each one I did. Now that I have my studio set up, I have continued to paint on gum leaves and liquid amber leaves.

Now here is where the second part of the happy accident happened.

The little one teacher school at Rockley, where my children started their schooling had their 150th Anniversary on the 6th of November. One of my friends from Rockley was organising the event and asked me if I would like to set up a market stall.
I framed up the leaves I had on hand and made some postcard prints and bookmarks of the artwork. I only sold one painting on the day but received two commissions for specific subjects. (A frog similar to the one I sold earlier in the day – frogs are in, I could have sold that leaf three times on the day – and a scene from the Tarana Valley, as a gift for a Canadian teacher who has been on a work exchange.)
Since that weekend, I have sold two more of the leaf paintings and have commissions for six more at $55.00 each.
I think I may have set the price too low!

3-E Poetry

I have been working, for the second half of the year, helping out in one of the Year 3 classes. There are some wonderful kids in "3-E", some real characters. The kids have been learning poetry in term four, much to the distress of the boys.

"But poetry is gay, Mr. Doherty"

I've heard that statement more than once this term.

Week one was Limericks. One of the boys insisted that if he was writing a poem it would be about something cool! Theropods. Finding rhyming words for that is not an easy task. I thought I would set a good example and write a limerick of my own. It is about young Nicholas and his theropods.

....Young Nicholas loves dinosaurs
.....Even though they have very sharp claws
....He can name them all for us
.....Like the Tyrannosaurus
....With short arms but terrible jaws.

This week's style of poetry was Diamond Poems. Seven lined poems shaped like a diamond about a linked subject. The poem switches between the subjects in the middle of the 4th line. The 2nd and 6th line have 2 descriptive words. The 3rd and 5th line have three verbs, ending in -ing

.............Oval, white
..Moving, cracking, hatching,
Helpless, hungry, high nest
..Growing, learning, flying
..........Black, feathers
...................Bird Oden.

All the words were his, with only a little prompting.

I love working with the Year 3 students. I'm definitely going to miss them over the Christmas holiday break.