Learn from Home

This page is designed for Ontario elementary teachers to use as a resource when planning their at-home education programs in the visual arts. Using the Art Gallery of Northumberland’s Permanent Collection as the subject matter, we offer conversation, reflection and analysis points, as well as projects inspired by the works presented.

Grades 1 to 6
Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.3, D1.4, D2.1, D2.2, D2.3, D3.1, D3.2


Audrey McNaughton
Portrait of Lenah Field Fisher, 1976
oil on Aspenite

When an artist creates a representation of a person, it is called a portrait. Portraits usually focus on a person’s face, but can include the whole body. A portrait can be a painting, drawing, photograph, sculpture, or any other type of art. When an artist creates a portrait of himself or herself, it is called a self-portrait.

Conversation + Analysis:
1. What story does this artwork tell?
2. This women’s name was Lenah Field Fisher she is known as the Saviour of Victoria Hall. How does this painting reflect that?
3. How many unique textures or patterns can you spot?
4. What else do we know about Lenah Field Fisher by looking at this portrait?
5. Do you have portraits on display in your home? How do the portraits in your home compare to this one?
6. Have you been to Victoria Hall? Why do you think Lenah Field Fisher thought it was important to save Victoria Hall? What buildings or works of art would you like to see saved and preserved?

Curriculum Connections: D2.1, D3.1, D3.2

Projects Ideas:
1. Make your own self-portrait. Consider what parts of your personality you want to represent. What facial expression will you show? What will you wear? Put something in the background that tells the viewer about what is important to you. Who is your audience? Use materials you have available in your home.

Suggested materials: Paper or cardboard and markers, crayons or pencils. Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D2.2, D1.4

2. Lenah Field Fisher was known for her interesting and colourful hats. Build yourself an interesting and colourful hat. Where would you wear this hat?

Suggested materials: Paper, paper plates, feathers, beads, balloons, tissue paper, yarn, pom-poms, markers, paint, glitter, fabric, pipe cleaners. Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.4

3. When Lenah Field Fisher was first elected to Council, she was assigned to work in the garbage committee. Using clean garbage and recycling build a replica of Victoria Hall!

Suggested materials: egg cartons, paper towel roll, cardboard boxes and newspaper. Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.4, D3.1, D3.2

Download a printable PDF

Tag, you’re it!

Ron Bolt
Cobourg Graffiti, 1978
graphite and pencil

Born in Toronto. Studied at Northern Technical School (1956) art and graphic design at Ryerson Polytechnic and the Ontario College of Art, music at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto (1961). He spent twelve years as a designer, illustrator and typographer of studios and advertising agencies in Toronto, Ontario and London, England. In 1970 he left the design field to concentrate on a career in fine art. A painter and printmaker working in oil, acrylic, etching and lithography, he is known for his dramatic ocean scenes and more recently, mixed media collages of life in San Miguel, Mexico. His style has evolved from lyrical abstraction to Photo Realism. He also painted in Newfoundland (1972-73), the Arctic (1978), Italy and Jamaica (1986), Mexico and the Caribbean, and St. Ives, Cornwall, England. He has exhibited widely in commercial galleries across Canada.

Conversation + Analysis:
1. What is happening in this piece?
2. Is this composition balanced? Is it symmetrical?
3. What could the heart shape and letters mean?
4. What is the difference between the left and the right side?
5. What do you feel looking at this artwork?
6. Where do you think the artist got the idea for this?

Curriculum Connections: D2.1, D2.2, D2.3, D3.1, D3.2

Antoni, Clavé
Roi Bande Rouge, 1960
lithograph on paper

Clavé worked as a poster designer and illustrator, in stage set design, and also made comics. Later in his life his paintings became more abstract and enigmatic; inspired by wall textures and graffiti, Clavé began integrating scraps of newspaper and other similar materials into his paintings in a collage-like manner.

Conversation + Analysis
1. What is happening in this piece?
2. What do you think the red dot might represent?
3. How many red lines do you see?
4. Using what you know about the artist, and looking carefully at the artwork, what might the artist have said about his artistic choices?

Curriculum Connections: D2.1, D2.2, D3.1, D4.1

Projects Ideas:
1. Draw your own graffiti! Combine pictures, words, numbers and symbols that represent you. Add lines, arrows and colour to draw attention to certain parts. Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4, D2.2

2. Take your art outdoors (driveways, backyard fences) Using chalk create a graffiti mural. Can passers-by see the graffiti? What message do you want them to read or see as they pass by? Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4

3. In graffiti, a tag is the artists’ personalized way of writing their name or their signature. Create your own tag! Experiment by using different fonts and handwriting styles to create your tag. Bubble letters? Sharp and pointy letters? Get creative! Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4

Download a printable PDF

Hands up!

Florence, Wyle
Sculpted Hand, n.d.

Florence Wyle was an American-born Canadian sculptor and designer. Florence Wyle did not originally plan to become an artist. She began pre-medical studies at the University of Illinois (1900-03), but then abruptly transferred to the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also taught modelling (1903-09). It was there that she met fellow sculptor Frances Loring who was to become her lifelong companion. After completing her studies, she moved to New York for a short time, before settling in Toronto (1913). Both women (nicknamed “The Girls”) were extremely active in the artistic community, joining a number of associations, hosting events at their studio, and encouraging young women sculptors. She worked as a sculptor in clay, plasticine, stone and wood (1913-68). Most of her carvings were executed by herself. She practiced chiefly in Toronto, living and working with her partner sculptor Frances Loring. She co-founded the Sculptors’ Society of Canada with Alfred Laliberté, Elizabeth Wyn Wood, Wood’s teacher and husband Emanuel Hahn and Henri Hébert.

Mary E., Rawlyk
Horizontal Hand Painting, 1976

Mary E. Rawlyk studied at McMaster University, Hamilton (pre-med), and she enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, but later changed her mind about the medical program. she later studied at Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick (BFA), studying under Alex Colville. She taught high school science and mathematics for three years, focused her attention on homemaking and raising her two children. While her children were at school she worked on her art.

Conversation + Analysis
1. What is happening in the images and why do you think so?
2. What could the hands be saying? How can people communicate with their hands?
3. What can you say about the colour of Rawlyk’s work?
4. Both of these artists began in pre-medical school. What do medical school and art school have in common? How can a doctor benefit from looking at and creating art?

Curriculum Connections: D2.2, D2.3, D3.1, D3.2

Project Ideas:
1. Put your hand on a piece of paper and trace the outline. Use scissors to cut out the shape of your hand. Decorate the hand with markers, stickers, paint, feathers, crayons. Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4

2. Create 2 contour line drawings of your hands. A contour drawing is basically a line drawing. Draw your left hand using your right hand then draw your right with your left. Really slow down and look at your hands while you draw. Which drawing do you prefer? Were the results as you expected?

Option 2: Draw or trace your hands and practice shading the drawings with pencils or crayons. Experiment with value and colour. Curriculum Connections: D1.4

Download a printable PDF

Landscape | The Horizon Line

Mary Alison Seale
Rice Lake, East of Harwood, 1980

Brian Kelley
Dream Landscape, n.d. 

The horizon line is a horizontal line that runs across a page or canvas. It is where the sky meets the land or water. Horizon lines may be higher or lower, straight, wavy or on an angle. Look for the horizon line in each of these images.

Conversation + Analysis:
1. Describe the feeling evoked by the colours used in these 2 landscapes.
2. If you could go for a walk in the artwork, where would you go?
3. Seale said “Making art is like taking a journey. Sometimes you know where you are going, and the route is planned. Other times you get lost, perhaps deliberately, and end up somewhere totally unexpected. Both approaches are equally valid. Whichever path is followed, I hope that the viewer will discover a glimpse of the ‘elsewhere’. This is the search that takes me on all my creative endeavours.” Which approach do you think she took when creating “Rice Lake, East of Harwood”.
4. How do the artists show distance and depth in their works?

Curriculum Connections: D2.1, D2.2

Project Ideas:
Landscape (background, middle ground, foreground)
1. Draw a horizontal line on your page. How high on the page will it be? Will it be straight?
2. Draw some mountains in the background. These should be sitting on the horizon line. Are they big? Jagged? Rolling hills? A volcano?
3. Add something to the middle ground. This is the space below the horizon line but not touching the bottom of your page. It could be a tree, a pond, a house, a tractor…
4. Add something to the foreground. This is going to be very low on your page, perhaps touching the bottom of the page. Maybe a large boulder, a tree, an outstretched arm of the viewer. Think about how an object appears larger close-up and smaller in the distance.
5.  Add colour to your image. What mood will the colour convey?

Landscape (Value)
Value is an element of design defined as the lights and darks in an artwork. Value can refer to black, white and ranges of greys or it can refer to colour and the lights (tints) and darks (shades) of that colour.

1. Using only black (charcoal, crayon, graphite, pencil, ink or watercolour) create a landscape picture. Fill the page using the full range of values from black to white including a range of greys.

Curriculum Connections: D1.1, D1.2, D1.3, D1.4, D3.1, D3.2

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