FREE art lesson for The Body Book

I have FINALLY put together a resource to go along with ‘The Body Book,” after meaning to for a looong time. I’ve done this art lesson in classes and day cares and it is such a fun and meaningful way to help kids rethink their relationships with their bodies.

Even in kindergarten and early primary grades kids are learning to judge their bodies by how they look, and whether they “fit” the ideal image they see in media, toys and adult role models. Sadly, it’s not rare to hear a girl in grade one call herself “fat.”

I wanted to shift the focus to one of celebration and gratitude, so this activity is all about answering the question: “What is my favourite thing to do in my body?”

The results kids come up with are diverse, vibrant and fun. When these go up on the wall the classroom turns into a place where EVERY BODY is celebrated for who they are.

Here’s a link to the lesson plan  PDF. 

Dog portrait of Betty

This portrait was created for a Christmas present, which is always a special commission. In this case, Betty had passed away recently so it was extra meaningful.

It feels so intimate to provide someone with a reminder of their relationship with their animal companion when that pet is no longer with them.  It’s so deep and sad when this relationship ends. It’s a special, pure type of connection whose weight I think is often overlooked.

I used India ink to paint Betty with some white gouache for accents, and for the background used watercolour and white pen.

 

 

amy dog 3
Betty

My grandma

 

grandma 1 copy

 

This is my lovely 94 year old grandma, Joyce (my middle namesake) drawn in ballpoint pen, with a splash of some watercolour, on 9 x 12 in paper. This was a piece with a lot of stops and starts, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right.

I don’t draw in this much detail often, but I am so in admiration of this woman’s energy and wit, as well as her capacity to continually learn and grow in her most recent years, I wanted to do her justice.

My grandma was a source not only of my earliest feelings of family and comfort, but of my ideas of femininity and beauty. She has always taken pride in her appearance, and it has always shown. My mom told me that when she was little she thought her mom was the most beautiful woman in the world, and I believe it.

It was important to me to reframe my grandma’s own self-consciousness around the act of ageing. Like many women from her generation (and today), she believes that youth is the ideal, and that getting older is a departure from that ideal. While on one hand, I remember her morning beauty routine and makeup instruction with warm and fuzzy nostalgia from sleepovers at my grandparents’, I know that her commitment to those products was a necessary protection from the critical external and internal voices of ageist judgement.

I wanted to pay attention to and honour how the imprints of her life experiences have informed her skin. As my face begins to get its own creases and lines, I’m trying to appreciate (despite a lifetime of training) that this is the story of my interactions with the world for the past 31 years. They represent all my smiles, all my belly laughs, all my scowls at people who deserved it, and all my serious eyebrow furrowing thoughts. They are a record of my story, and there is no reason they should be erased in favour of the simpler texture of a younger, less experienced and less wise, version of myself.

Lately I have been getting angry when I am seeking health care and I am instead targeted with anti-ageing products and procedures. It starts with the pharmacy section in the Safeway where there are a million wrinkle reducing skin care products but you can’t find the yeast infection treatment (ew vaginas, gross), and it seeps into the places where I am at my most vulnerable and exposed.  In my OB-GYN’s office, and in a general walk-in clnic I went to recently, there were ads for cosmetic surgery in the waiting room and in the actual doctor’s offices.

I resented so much that while I was dealing with issues that affected my actual health and well-being, when I was feeling low and like there was something wrong with me anyways, and in a moment when I was asking for help from an authority I was supposed to be able to trust, I was being marketed to and confronted with the fact that not only is there a problem with how I feel or operate, but I live in a society that also thinks I don’t  look how I’m supposed to look because my face has lines.

I reject the idea that women should feel shame or embarrassment for showing evidence that we have spent time on this earth. I’d like to celebrate all the life stages women experience, not just the perpetual childhood we are sold as necessary for continued social relevance. Humans get old (if we’re lucky). Women get old. There is not actually an alternative. Selling women discontent for being subject to the laws of time and space is a huge industry, and I’m specifically pissed off at the individuals who profit from inventing our insecurities for us.

I have a feeling that women who are not afraid to express the experience they’ve amassed over the years may be the most dangerous . . .

What if all women did not feel they needed to hide or fix themselves in order to occupy public space? What would we resist if we were not resisting time’s conversation with our own bodies?

Hmm . . .

I can think of some things.

Holiday Cards Sale

After years of creating a card a year for the holiday season, I finally have a set. Sharing some of my favourite animals drawn in ballpoint pen with loved ones has made the cold winter feel a little cozier and a little cuter.

A set of 5 cards includes one of each image and 5 white envelopes. Insides are blank.

1 set of 5 $18               2 sets of 5 $32             3 sets of 5 $45

 

1 set of cards, $18        Buy Now Button

2 sets of cards $32       Buy Now Button

3 sets of cards $45       Buy Now Button

If you would like to order more or pay be email transfer, please email me at rozmaclean@gmail.com

seal xmas cardpolar xmas

xmas reindeer final

penguinxmascard

lemur xmas 2016


 

 

Poster artwork

This was such a fun poster to make for local musician, Ché Aimee Dorval. I started with watercolour and ink then did the pink outlining and lettering on my tablet. It’s been rainy in Vancouver and I wanted to make something bright out of the everyday (I was inspired by the hedges that populate pretty much every neighbourhood).

Inktober

Inktober is a challenge to artists to create an ink drawing every day for the entire month of October. So, I didn’t exactly do that, but it was a great excuse to challenge myself to make some off the cuff artwork that didn’t require too much thought or time (more than a day). Here’s what I came up with.

 

 

Oil paintings

Finally took photos of some of the oil paintings I’ve been working on over the past year. All centre on the theme of natural flow systems. 

Petal Veins 16 in x 20 in

Feathers 2 ft x 2.5 ft

Discorder illustrations

I created these pieces for an article for Discorder Magazine about the Chinatown Concern Group.  This group of activists is fighting displacement of low-income and Chinese residents in the name of revitalization in Vancouver’s Chinatown.RozCCG-2CHinatown concern1

Happy Birthday

A special someone’s birthday today, so I made them a pretty cute card.

corgi heart
corgi heart

IBPA award

I am so excited and honoured to share that The Body Book has been named the winner of the IBPA’s*  Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal Award in the children’s picture book 0-3 category!

In the indie book world, it can feel hard to gauge the response to your work sometimes, since everything happens on a smaller scale, so recognition at this level is a very welcome cause for celebration.  Unfortunately I was unable to attend the awards gala in Portland, but was lucky that my fellow Promontory author, Pearl R. Meaker, author of her own award winner, The Devil’s Music was able to accept on my behalf.  Thanks Pearl! I’m very very excited about the gold stickers.

*Independent Book Publisher’s Association