Monday, March 24, 2008

Going to the McMichael

Sometimes when I can combine my school life --
teaching English and School Success (motivational
psych), I do. One assignment that's worked really well in recent years has been going to the Art Gallery of Ontario, and
writing about a painting in the Canadian Gallery. The
students moan and groan about the idea at first, then
meet on the night the gallery is free, and run around
claiming paintings, before anyone else can ask me,
"Is this painting taken?" The contrast between their
initial misgivings (many students live north of Toronto
and the Art Gallery is right downtown), and their
excitement when they've chosen a painting, is both
endearing and funny.

This year the gallery is closed for renovations, but
I wanted to give my current class the experience, so
we're going to the McMichael Canadian Collection
on Friday. Today they did an exercise brainstorming art terms
in teams and raced to the blackboard to try and beat each other
with the longest list. I don't remember having a more enthusiastic
class than my current English class. The class runs from
4:15 - 6:00 p.m. and comes at the end of a long day for me,
but their lively humour and energy lasts right to the end of
the period. So we're going to see the Group of Seven and
whatever else is on offer. It's one of my days off, but I'll be
in Kleinburg for the whole day, talking about the paintings.

Here's a sketch of mine from a few years ago done at my
Tuesday night class with the Don Valley Art Club. I was
trying out gold paint with red. I do love that combo. The
painting ended up looking a lot like my next door neighbour
-- sometimes I channel images unconsciously.

Have an appreciative day.


Anonymous said...

Barbara, I LOVE that painting!!!!! It is so fresh, so vibrant, so dynamic!!!'re going to be at the McMicheal tomorrow!! Have an exciting time....that sounds like a wonderful class that you have going there. How fortunate you are, but not as fortunate as the young people who you are no doubt inspiring!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Flora,

Thanks -- that's an old sketch. I'm trying to put my work on more now,
and going through my files. We had such a great time at McMichael. I
know I'm the lucky one.


Portrait Artist

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