Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Finding Inspiration

I am inspired by lots of different people that I know and read about. Recently I have started to get into Dancing with the Stars again.  If you don't know the show it is the perfect combination of many of my favorite things. There's Music, Competition, Celebrities, Dancing and lots and lots of Drama.

I was watching some of the old dances on YouTube, and was blown away by one of the contestants from Season 18 in 2014. Amy Purdy is a Paralympic Snowboarder and absolutely amazing dancer, which would be inspiring enough, but she is also a double amputee.

I have read a lot about service men and women who have lost limbs and their stories are without exception tragic and inspirational,  but Amy's story is different. At the age of 19, she contracted a virulent form of bacterial meningitis and within a matter of days went into septic shock causing her to have both legs amputated, both her kidneys failed and she lost her spleen. The doctors gave her only a 2% chance of survival,

Less than a year later she won her first snowboarding championship on a set of new prosthetic legs and since then she has never stopped breaking records and showing just what is possible when you are determined and committed to achieving a goal. She won a bronze medal in Russia at the paralympic snowboarding, she's founded a non profit and been in movies and even a Madonna video!

But to be truly inspired what the videos below and you will get a real sense of her story and then see her dance. One of the most amazing and inspiring women I have ever seen.

She takes my breath away and makes me want to be more, and do more.

Thanks Amy

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Senior Interim - Wheelie Art Teacher!

So I am coming to the end of my last ever Interim Week, my third as I missed last year due to the hole in my back.  So Senior Year I've come full circle and I have been back this week with Ms Mac in the Elementary School.

For those who have never been in Ms Mac's class there are very few rules,  which is exactly how I got to be an artist in the first place. It was Ms Mac who invented dancing on the canvas with my wheelchair wheels and she has mentored me ever since. Music is a key part of our process and she always says that I educate her about hip music. We started painting again every other Tuesday after school, come by if you want to see what happens.

Art Teacher Apprenticeship version 2.0

Maybe it's because I'm older now, but this time it feels different. I am working with grades 3 , 4 and 5 and in the lessons they are
introduced to Wheelie Art and get a chance to try it for themselves
using different wheels and vehicles.


Why? The Music 

Music plays a huge part in Wheelie Art, it transformed my first paintings from basic lines of paint to amazing abstract images as I started to "dance" across the canvas. Last weekend Francesca and I spent a couple of fun hours hunting through Youtube videos to find "age appropriate" and "age relevant" songs. So the challenge was ensuring a mix that would appeal from grade 3 - 5.

As it turned out 3rd grade got no music, 5th grade listened with headphones to their I-Pads and 4th grade got the dance party.

I get the girls, they mostly like what I do, Tay Tay, Demi Lovato, Ariana etc but 99% of the boys I have no clue what they are talking about. One 5th grade boy came up to me to tell me what his music choice was and I had never heard of the band or the song! This became a pattern throughout the week, unless we were whipping a nae nae, I was clueless.

So it's my last day tomorrow, we've created some amazing painting this week and tomorrow I will share them, and news of the last day with you.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Back on the Canvas

Now that I am finally back painting for the first time in over a year, I decided, well it was suggested - my mother never really suggests she makes me do stuff - that it was time to get blogging again.

This is my first ever painting on a black background, which is why the colors are white, gold and bronze. The music was Kelly Clarkson's Warpaint which seems appropriate because the painting ended up looking a bit tribal to me.

What do you think?

It felt fun to be painting again, it gives me probably the only way to really express my feelings / frustrations / anger and I think my new wheels are now taking me in a new direction.