Dragons Do Dance!

Happy New Year!  Welcome to the Year of the Horse!  The grade twos in my care today enjoyed a book written and beautifully illustrated by Ian Wallace, Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance.  It was a wonderful thing to be able to celebrate the possibilities of a dragon in visual journals afterwards.  Visual journals are such an entry point into the imagination!  Another awesome day as a guest teacher!

Ching Chiang and the Dragon's Dance

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Katie Ohe’s Idea Books

Perched on Katie’s kitchen counter…a simple black sketchbook…a place to capture her ideas while she is preparing food or perking coffee.  Some of the collages feel so familiar to me.  For one, I also enjoy using found objects such as onion/fruit sacks as underpinnings in my collage work.  Katie lovingly leafed through pages…chatting with us along the exploration.

It was in the kitchen that I shared with Katie how commercial galleries had once owned my spirit…and how, belonging, caused me to freeze.  She received that disclosure with so much warmth.  I will carry the conversation that followed, forever…a very healing experience.

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Weekend Blessing #2: Inspiring Art Journals

One Book One Calgary, sponsored by the Calgary Public Library offers a whole range of wonderful programs and session surrounding this year’s book selection, The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.  I chose to attend a session Saturday morning, along with my cousin, at the Thornhill Branch…Inspiring Art Journals.  What a blast!  the Session presenters were Meredith and Jann of the Fibre Optics Group.

It was so generous that we were each gifted a visual journal through the One Book One Calgary initiative.  Then we received a whole variety of hands on activities and approaches to creating our own personal art journals.  It was a very relaxing time and an hour and a half swooshed by so quickly.  I’m posting here some pages that I found particularly beautiful in both Jann and Meredith’s journals.

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A wee site that might be of interest to the natural doodlers in my reader list, might be this one.  This was my initiation into the concept of zentangle.

From this session, Margy and I headed to the Calgary Waldorf School for an afternoon exploring crafts, woodwork, art, fabrics, wool and pottery.  We had a great time looking at all of the beautiful home made products and chatting with the artists and artisans.  It was spectacular.  One of my main reasons for heading up to this event was to support my friend, Belinda Fireman, who is an exceptional artist who I’ve connected with through the Gorilla House.

Belinda is a featured artist in the book, Journal It! Perspectives in Creative Journaling by Jenny Doh.  I was very excited to purchase one of these books and a couple of other knick knacks at her booth and what a remarkable one it was!  Thanks for the inscription in the front of my book, Belinda!  I’m going to have a blast exploring some of the ideas.  I love it when words and art connect!

Photo Credit: Belinda Fireman