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Spotlights!

Retirement Dreams & Children’s Books with Sparkler Gloria Mathews: AME 050

Retirement Dreams & Children’s Books with Sparkler Gloria Mathews: AME 050

By on Apr 19, 2017 | 10 comments

Today’s episode is special. Deep Space Sparkle member, Gloria Mathews is the quintessential Sparkler: creative, sharing, and kind. She is always the first one to comment, cheer on and celebrate other’s success in their journey as an art teacher. Gloria is a retired classroom teacher who transitioned to teaching art a couple of days per week to her group of students in grades K-2.  Hear how she designed an art program that suited her lifestyle and goals and how you can do it, too. Gloria and I chat about what makes a children’s book successful, how to get started writing your own children’s book and how letting go of one dream allows you to find the space to achieve another dream. IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:  How Gloria designed her life after retirement and how you can, too. How text and illustrations play off each other when writing children’s books What is SCBWI and how it serves people who have an interest in writing children’s literature Why it is so hard to publish a picture book How having a tribe of like-minded people fills you up   SHOW NOTES:  Gloria’s Facebook Page  Eric Carl Website Peter Reynolds Website Oliver Jeffers Peter Brown Chris Silas Neal www.scbwi.org Draw with Joan Miro Rachelle  Doorley & Tinkerlab It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond by Julia Cameron (affiliate link)...

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Sparkler Spotlight: Gina Bogomol

Sparkler Spotlight: Gina Bogomol

By on Mar 24, 2017 | 5 comments

The exciting part of Deep Space Sparkle’s Members Club is the chance to see what art teachers around the globe are creating with their students. The community group literally blows up everyday with postings of the latest art bundle experiments. My favorite part of my day is when I pour my coffee and browse through the daily uploads. One of our members, Gina Bogomol from Saint-Petersburg, Russia has been on my radar for a while. She’s that type of teacher: everything she does is crazy good and makes us wish we were a student her class. She recently submitted a gallery of Klimt-inspired women based on two projects from the Klimt Bundle. Golly. It was devine. I loved it so much that wanted to learn more about Gina aand what it’s like teaching art in Russia. Here’s what she said: Thank you Patty for inspiration and desire to share your experience with others. I’m from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. I graduated from State Pedagogical University, Art Department. Now I work at the International Academy of Saint-Petersburg. We have students from many countries. Some of them come to Russia just for a short period of time. This is my 12th year of teaching art at school in general, and 4th year at IA. Our school works upon request of the American education system, so it was all new for me as a new teacher when I just started there. I worked in a small Russian school before. Therefore I had all reasons to start searching internet for resources. I had no idea of how to teach in American school. What a relief it was when I found DSS two or three years ago. Terrific! It helped me so much! It was just the best, so close to my style, so easy to adopt for my lessons. Your blog became my favorite resource, it helps me to teach my students in a more accessible way, which is not always easy for the artists ( when you know how it should be, but sometimes do not know how to explain). It saved and keeps saving a lot of my time. I teach K-12 and after school group twice a week (about 20 lessons every week), and I always have to...

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Interview with Nikki McClure

Interview with Nikki McClure

By on Oct 17, 2012 | 6 comments

While searching for a literature tie-in for my Apple Art Lesson, I found Nikki McClure’s exquisite book Apple. The story takes on you in a visual journey of the life cycle of an apple; from apple picking time to composting and re-birth. The children had fun anticipating what would become of the bright red apple. I asked Nikki if she would mind answering a few questions about her book. Patty: When I first discovered your book, I was drawn to the starkness of the cover illustration. It’s not often that we see a children’s picture book created with a limited color palette. What was your thought process behind the colors? Nikki: The red apple is a character. Color isn’t used for decoration or to catch your eye…although it does with this cover. I use color to tell the story. The original artwork is black paper glued to a white backing. Adding color is an intentional alteration of the original art. Patty: I knew this book would make a lovely companion to an autumn art lesson for my Kinders, but I didn’t know how they would respind to the single word format of the book. I was thrilled to see that the children were enraptured! They loved filling in the empty spaces with their imaginations and learned quite a few words in the process. How long did it take to come up with the one perfect word for each page? Nikki: That’s what I love about wordless or almost wordless stories; the one word sinks in, but then the “reader” becomes the “teller” as they make up the missing pieces. They are encouraged to craft a thicker story in their mind. How long to come up with the words…well, it took 16 years to add words to the book. But once I decided to have words, they came quickly. Though not without editing! Some words were scrapped and others found. Patty: Can you describe your paper-cutting process? It looks really hard! Nikki: I take a piece of black paper and draw on it with pencil the picture that I want to appear. I then take an x-acto blade and start cutting. I do the part that I worry over the...

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