Painting With Kids Outdoors on a Windy Day!

As I continue with my “My Life Falls Out of Order” series of posts…I still find little nuggets in my archives about teaching, music, nature and art moments that I wish to put in some form of reflection.

Not much to say about this one that the photographs won’t explain, but, it all began with good intentions.  When the weather is nice and the year is grinding to a close, it’s nice to get students outdoors as much as is possible.  These experiences can be based on curriculum; you just need to think it through.

So, of course, I head outside to paint.  There is a tradition of painting landscape called en plein air…if good for the Impressionists, why not for children?  Any grade…

When painting a mural, it is the teacher’s greatest responsibility to share with students the idea behind collaboration and elevation of the group’s efforts over the familiar experience of elevating the self.  Well before a project such as a group mural, lessons need to focus on the personality of line quality and the very specialization of mark making.  In a group mural, it is explained, it is important to share your marks in a variety of locations.  This will lead to a more successful piece, in that Unity will be accomplished through the weaving of many personal approaches to colour, design and line.

And…when the wind blows, just revise the initial plan.  Don’t get sad about a splatter, enjoy the impact of elements upon the collective result.

Roslyn Elementary School 1937

This is just one of those things I picked up at a second hand shop in Belleville, Ontario…just because it was beautiful, so crisp and nostalgic…a bit of a glare on the photo I’ve included.

Kath's Canon January 2, 2016 New Years Tracks Salmon Sculpture 026

Upon removing the frame, I found a list of what I believe to be nicknames and first names of a group of male students Grade six, 1937.  I love to get these sorts of things back into the hands of descendants if I can, but because the details are not sufficient to do a search, I’m just landing ‘what I do know’ here, in this one place.  If you know anyone who is seeking out this archive, I’d love for it to go to a family member.

Kath's Canon January 2, 2016 New Years Tracks Salmon Sculpture 023

From what I can tell, Roslyn Elementary school was/is based in Montreal.  It seems that if this is the same school, Leonard Cohen attended Roslyn.

“Leonard Cohen, author, poet, and musician, was born on September 21, 1934 to a prosperous Jewish family in Westmount. His grandfather, Lyon Cohen, was the owner of the successful men’s clothing manufacturing firm, the Freedman Company, and was perhaps the Jewish community’s foremost leader during the early decades of the twentieth century. Leonard’s father, Nathan Cohen, died when Cohen was just nine years old, leaving him under the care of his Russian-born mother, Masha, as the family became more dependent on the support of his father’s brothers. Cohen attended Roslyn School and then Westmount High School, while also going to Hebrew school and becoming a bar mitzvah at the Shaar Hashomayim synagogue, where his family was actively involved. It was during his adolescence that he turned more and more to writing and learned to play guitar. This more introverted, artistic side of Cohen in some ways contrasted with the student who played sports and was a leader in extracurricular activities.”

Back Row: Sweezy, Romney, Schulman, Chisholm, Kosh, Evans, Gurd, Murray, Graham, Tilden

Middle Row: Cummings, Nutter, Casgrain, Williams Chodal Walker Moyle Walls Polcock Oliver

Back Row: Nicholson Bishop Burke Miller Griffith Walls Strachan Waller Cockfield Swaine

Haggett King

Grade  VI Roslyn School May 1937

To update this story, I spoke to Joanne Penhale this morning.

“I’m a Montreal-based freelance reporter and your blog post featuring the 1937 photo from Roslyn School has piqued the curiousity (sic) of my editor at the Westmount Independent – the community newspaper serving the community Roslyn is in.”
If a story does, in fact, run in a local newspaper, the chances are greater that this photo will fall into the hands of one of the boys in this photograph…or one of their descendants. I took a new set of photographs as a result of this connection.  WHOOT!
Kath's Canon January 13, 2016 008Kath's Canon January 13, 2016 005Kath's Canon January 13, 2016 002