Wednesday, 6 March 2013

School Art...

 "Snowman Reading With Friends"
(acrylic on stretched canvas, 18x25")

"Snow Lady Reading With Friends"
(acrylic on stretched canvas, 18x25")

    I enjoy volunteering at our local school... For the last two years I have focused my attention on helping the Teacher Librarian in the library.... I check-in books, catalog and shelf books, send out reminder notices for overdue books, and straighten the shelves.  Over the first few months of volunteering in the library I was bothered by the lack of colour and interest particularly in the primary area...  

    When children are first discovering books and reading, a bunch of colourful book spines staring back at them may not be enough to interest them... There was a huge bulletin board over the low shelves in this section of the library that was painted a dark navy blue and had some faded cardstock mini posters stapled to it that announced subjects like "History", Geography", and "Science" - nothing against any of these fine subjects but in a primary book area this all added up to a display that was just plain B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

    When I approached the principal to get approval for improving on the bulletin board display I felt like l'il Mary Lennox in Francis Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden" when she asked her uncle, "Might I have a bit of earth?" ... The principal, of course, was not frightening like Mary's uncle, Mr. Craven - he was overjoyed and 'let me do as I wished' so I set to work taking measurements and making preliminary sketches!

    I came up with this...
"Reading Helps Your Imagination Blossom"
(acrylic on cardstock, mixed media (blossoms), bulletin board)

    Here are some details of the bulletin board... all the little creatures in the design (mouse, frog, butterfly, dragonfly, and ladybug) are all enjoying a good book:
     I even wrote the beginning of a story for the mouse to be reading... one of the Grade 2 classes found me one day shortly after I put this board together and asked me if it was a real book because their teacher had read the words I had written in this design and the class wanted to find out what happened next!  When I told them that it was a story I had just made up and I didn't know what happened next or even how the story ends they were somewhat disappointed but I then encouraged them to write their own version of how the story continues!

    The Snow people (at the top of this post) are my most recent addition to the library walls... there is a bland, boring, beige painted peg board over the other low shelves in the primary section and I have been trying to fill it with colour and so last month I painted these two canvasses and hung them up to create a little display, complete with a banner "Friends Gather Here To Read"... just in front of these shelves is a big carpet and a rocking chair for the teacher to read to his/her class - so I thought the sentiment appropriate!

    Here is the overall display:
    The books the snow people are reading are titled. "A Winter's Tale" and "A Winter's Tale Too"

     I didn't know I would one day be painting canvasses for the school library - and buying more canvasses for future ideas/displays - but God has blessed me with time and opportunity to share my abilities to brighten a dull corner and hopefully make someone's day a little cheerier!!

    ♥ Cath-


Kim Rempel said...

Terrific Cathy! I know children would let their imaginations wander staring at this art!

Cath- said...

Thanks Kim!