The trustees at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board have voted in favour of cancelling all of their continuing education adult night classes, effectively immediately. Everyone involved in organizing and teaching the classes were taken completely off guard.
It was only a few years ago that the Ottawa Catholic School Board stopped printing and distributing their catalogue of evening classes, and as a teacher there I saw the enrollment decline to the point that classes no longer ran.
It appears to be an economic consideration with both boards being strapped for funds and the ability to balance programs, staff and student needs.
I lament the loss of these teaching venues because this is where I made new friendships, helped new students and enjoyed the sheer pleasure of seeing the "AHA" moment at it's finest... in the eyes of a new artist.
So, things have definitely changed and now I'm looking at possibilities for other options and venues for reaching a new audience of art enthusiasts. I will be spending a good portion of my summer working on this, but if any of you have suggestions I would very much appreciate hearing from you. Thanks!
I use synthetic brushes in all of my media. I like the fact that they are inexpensive, function well and are easy to maintain. I recently purchased several brushes from Royal & Langnickel's Zen and Moderna brush lines. I was attracted to these brushes because they are available at DeSerres for $3.69 each for all sizes. In my work I use larger brushes so this was a bonus for me! Mind you, even at $3.69 the smaller brushes are less expensive than other brands.
The Zen series come with three slightly different "springs"... stiff, medium and soft. I personally don't notice much of a difference when using them, however others might. The Moderna brush was of similar spring and comfort of using, but the ferule separated from the shaft and I have not been able to find it since. It's probably just a fluke but I have not purchased additional brushes to see if it was an isolated incident.
Whenever I have to go to Michael's for products that I can only get there, I always take a look at their pricing on various products. Here's what I found on the Royal & Langnickel brushes... they start at about $3.50 for the smaller brushes and go up to $6.99 for the larger (1") ones, so choose your brush venue carefully and, if you are going to Michael's, go armed with coupons!
I've had a lot of fun with this new piece, which started by applying white gesso to a canvas board, thickly and with a palette knife to create a slight vertical texture. Once that was dry I applied s coat of paint, using Pebeo's Iridescent Blue Green and Golden's Titanium Buff, to create the suggestion of a weather worn painted surface, such as one might find at the coast.
While that was drying I brushed a coat of white gesso over all of the pieces that I was going to include in the work... just to tone down the various colours of the pieces and make everything more unified. Some pieces did take two coats to meet conformity.
Once that was done and the background was dry, I started arranging items to create a design. It just wasn't working for me and in a flash of brilliance I realized that all the pieces I was working with were much the same size. There was no variety, no melody, just a bunch of very similar notes that weren't working well.
Okay, so I wiped everything off the board and started again, this time searching my stash for things that would work. Found some larger seashells, some turquoise beach glass and some flattened glass beads in the colours I needed. This is working better now! I started with the seashells as they were the largest and I could set out the design with them. Then I added some beach glass to accent the shells and help create the composition, followed by the glass beads.
Once that was done I started adding the fun pieces, anchors, hearts, ships wheel and other interesting pieces. Then I decided that it needed a bit of bling and added a few copper coloured accents as well as some glittery stars, to create visual interest and enhance the composition.
There's still a lot to do, but it will be finished in next week's blog, so stop by and check it out, or subscribe to be notified of new blog posts!
Thanks and best wishes,