I had an outstanding afternoon with the awesome 3rd and 4th grade students of Bella Vista Elementary. Click on any image to bring up a slide show.
I’ve been pretty busy the last six months pursuing bliss. Last year I signed up for an outstanding online course and critique group over at Make Your Splashes, Make Your Marks. Through this awesome course with Mark Mitchell, I connected up with Picture Book Academy.
First up was The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children’s Picture Books For Illustrators (and adventurous authors) with the wonderful Mira Reisberg.You can subscribe to the site to receive information about future offerings.
Next was The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books e-Courses. The next course will be starting in February 2014. Registration opens December 16th. – See more at: http://www.picturebookacademy.com/writing-childrens-picture-books.html
I guess we’ll all have to watch and see what fruit is borne from the seeds I’ve gathered. I do know that if you’re going to sneak a little bliss authoring or illustrating, Picture Book Academy is a great stop on the journey.
While you’re there be sure to check out the recent blog post by Maya Gonzales, Illustrating your Own Story! Becoming an AuthorArtist.
I’m all for sneaking bliss, but sometimes you gotta’ just reach out and grab it with both hands. I just found out there’s room in Hero’s Art Journey! We’re only a few days in and I am ecstatic to be along for this expedition in art filled bliss.
Registration ends Friday. Click here for a Super Secret Hero’s Art Journey e-Course Special and brace yourself for a bliss filled treat.
I’d love to see you there!
Just in case you missed the link, click the image….
The turkey vulture chicks are about 6.5 weeks old. Most large birds fledge around 10 to 11 weeks. Their chick down is giving way to juvenile feathers. The nest is becoming crowded. Their plumage will gradually shift to dark brown. It will be two years before the skin on their bald heads becomes red.
Previously, the chicks just observed and hissed at the GoPro. This time, they lunged at it so it will be the last visit by the GoPro. Soon they will climb out of the deep cavern they call home and begin living in the upper world.
You may also like:
Wood duck Invades Nest – Ghost Babies Fight Back
Birds of a Different Feather
Eerie Sounds from the Vulture Nest
Vulture Chicks – 3 weeks
Peek-a-boo, We see two…
Turkey Vulture Shift Change
Turkey Vultures Hatched!
Turkey Vulture Rendezvous
Spying on the Vulture Nest
Bigger on the Inside
UGLY Birds Gather
Vulture Turf Wars
Across the Threshold
Today I had the honor of manning the booth for Red Tail Publishing at the 13th Annual Run for the Wild and Open House for Shasta Wildlife Rescue.
Shasta Wildlife Rescue provides restorative care to wildlife in Northern California. Last year, this dedicated group of volunteers cared for over 1500 wild mammals and birds. It is their goal to rehabilitate the critter and return it to the wild where it can live out its life. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and a lot of funding. Today’s even is their annual fundraiser.
It starts early in the morning with a “Run for the Wild” and “Cash for Critters” followed by an “Open House and Baby Shower.”
A lot of people from the local community turn out for tours of the facility and to view the ambassador animals. Some of the animals rescued are not able to return to the wild, such as a bird that can no longer fly, or a fox that has been so imprinted on humans it cannot survive in the wild.
These are wild animals, they are not pets, and because of their life situation, they cannot live in the wild. These animals are cared for by trained people who are licensed by the State Department of Fish and Game to care for the animals for the remainder of the animal’s life. It is a commitment of heart, time and treasure.
So for all of you out there seeking a little bliss, consider supporting organizations like Shasta Wildlife Rescue in your area.
Even better… volunteer. Your world will be richer for it.
Here are some pictures from today. THANK YOU Norma Livingston, for being a good sport and shooting some candid pictures of the event.
Have you ever noticed that children left to their own devices will gravitate toward an activity to capture bliss?
No one has to tell them to use a crayon to draw upon the walls or that when paper tears it makes a cool sound. They are fully capable of finding these pleasures all on their own.
Curiosity and discoveries fill their hearts and open the world.
Our youngest was the most prolific scribbler of walls. He loved to draw on paper, but what he relished most was a simple wall canvas.
What must have gone through his mind when I grumbled while cleaning the walls before selling the house?
I hope he knows we saved his paper art. He must, because in his home, his children have an art table at the ready for spontaneous creations.
So today, as we celebrate his birthday, we can only speculate what wonders of bliss his children will reveal to their dad and mom.
Happy Birthday Stephen
Interesting how one thing leads to another. I was asked to participate in liturgical environment planning. Just for a season. Nothing official or formal. I think part of the plan was for me to learn a bit more about the faith I had awakened to as an adult. A little backdoor catechesis perhaps. Not sure at what point I became a regular team member. I spent many years that followed as a part of the liturgical design team in our local parish.
Liturgical environment planning involves reading sacred scripture for the applicable period and designing the way the surrounding environment will look. The key to designing sacred space for worship is presenting an environment that supports and enriches the written word without adding to or detracting from it.
Using brainstorming notes from the liturgy team, and the colors designated for the season, I would bounce ideas around and watch faces for the tell tale sign of ah ha.
Sometimes using imagery, sometimes just color and shape, but always the surrounding area is designed to invite into the story. A successful design will awaken the listeners to the fullness of sacred word spoken. An unsuccessful one will leave them perplexed.
I realize now, this was the first time I illustrated. It was also the first time I publicly presented art other than photography. A seed planted long ago was nurtured.
I imagine the process is the same, regardless of your faith tradition. People have been illustrating the sacred since before it was written word.
Should you have the chance to participate in such an endeavor in your personal faith tradition, I encourage you to do so. You may find it to be enriching, rewarding and enlightening. You may even come a bit closer to bliss.
We have all had moments like this when working with a group of kids. One child is so full of energy that sitting still is impossible. Yes, impossible, and I do not say this lightly.
I watched this energetic child squirm, wiggle and twist. With hands that drummed, fidgeted and poked it seemed like we were in for a long night of religious education.
One quick glance from me garnered an, “Am I in trouble?” response.
The child seemed to be trying so hard to sit still, listen, and not interrupt the lessons or other pier participation.
“Am I in trouble?” the child queried again.
I slid a few sheets of paper under those fidgeting fingers along with some colored markers. “When I am easily distracted, it helps me to doodle. Give it a try.” My smile was met with a broad grin and my offer accepted.
An amazing peace fell over the room. Oh, the hands were still busy, writing each pier name on a paper airplane. Then a dove with an olive branch followed by three crosses on a hill.
The student was listening and exchanging in dialog all the while creating little masterpieces.
Religious education class is opened and closed with prayer. That evening, the doodles during class were placed in the center of the table as we all prayed together.
When trying to reach a kid, try art.
Remember this? Donald in Mathmagic Land
I recall seeing this in film format, back in the days of projectors and traditional film in classrooms. In our case, the entire school viewed the film. I was absolutely fascinated.
This animation by Disney attempted to convince kids that math was important. Even though it utilized animation and a familiar character, this little film did not awaken math for my fellow students, rather, it cemented their dislike.
Not to pick on my daughter-in-law, but when she uttered the words, “I hate math,” I was compelled to show her the video of Donald. Yes, I have a copy. Her poor face contorted into a twisted ball of raw pain. This experience, at her expense, really enlightened me. Start with art. She, too, is a photographer. We can talk about f/stops, shutter speeds and light temperature without missing a beat.
Since drawing is innate to a child, really to the human creature, it is a more functional approach to utilize art to teach math and science rather than trying to tell people the reason they like art is math.
The paper Drawing on Student Understanding, Using illustrations to invoke deeper thinking about animals., By Mary Stein, Shannan McNair, and Jan Butcher exemplifies a more modern approach to recognizing the interwoven nature of art and science.
The enrichment program I started in middle school and continued through high school lacked this interrelatedness. A few successful instructors invited all disciplines for students to expand their understanding of the world around them. For most, however, they appreciated math and tolerated art in student achievement.
Years later, as I bring my personal art out of hiding, I am awakened to a sense of wholeness.