Reflecting on the end of the School Holidays


I’ve had a busy but thoroughly enjoyable School Holiday. I took the chance to join the Teacher Challenge, enlarged my Personal Learning Network via Twitter and read and commented upon many Blogs. I’ve learnt so much  during the past six weeks that I’m  concerned that going back to school might slow down my learning. I’m even more concerned that some of our students might be thinking the same way. I  aim to make our Visual Arts classroom one which encourages more individual exploration this year. I hope that we will focus on our small part of  the incredible amount of learning happening in and out of schools throught the World and that we will explore new ways of showcasing it on our Blog and connecting with others.
I took this photo on  a Kingfisher Cruise on the Murray River in the Barmah Forest in Northern Victoria, Australia. The trees are River Red Gums.

A picture or ten – what then?

The great thing about a challenge is that it encourages you to try something you might otherwise put in the “too hard basket”. For some months I have been intending to put a series of my photos together in Animoto so, as part of Activity 5 of  the Teacher Challenge , I finally gave it a try.  I hope you will be inspired to give it a go if you haven’t as yet. I used the Basic level which is free. The most difficult part was finding 10 images which told a story and  then deciding on suitable music from the hundreds available. The music on these presentations can often be surprisingly loud so it might be  a good idea to set it a little lower before you view.

Create your own video slideshow at

The Rolls Royces of Blogging

Our second task in the Teacher Blogging Challenge is to refer in a post to some posts by other bloggers which we have found interesting. I have chosen Larry Ferlazzo and Rod Lucier as my Rolls Royce bloggers because of their  “overall excellence” as writers, the “build quality” of their blogs and the lasting impression they have had on me as an educator. Their posts are effective because of the thinking they encourage and because of the practical help their links provide. I liken their consistent excellence to that of Rolls Royce cars. I took the photos at the RACV Great Australian Car Rally last Sunday. The well recognized statue on the front of the Rolls Royce is the Spirit of Ecstasy.




10 Things you should know about Blogging

1. Blogging is fun…..when you take the plunge.

Bathing Hour

E. Phillips Fox | Australia/France 1865-1915 | Bathing hour (L’Heure de Bain) c.1909 | Oil on canvas | 183.5 x 113.3cm | Purchased 1946 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

2.Blogging takes time ……but is well worth the effort.


Artist Salvador Dalí, Year 1931, Type Oil on canvas, Dimensions 24 cm × 33 cm (9.5in x 13in) 

3. Blogging makes great connections…….it even makes friends.

The Mantuan Circle of Friends 1602   Oil on canvas   101 x 77.5 cm (3′ 3.76″ x 30.51″)  Private collection

4.Blogging allows for, and requires, reflection……it’s surprising what you will think and remember.


Auguste Rodin 1903  The Thinker Bronze and Marble – Musée Rodin
5. Blogging spreads the word…..about what’s important to us  e.g. the creating, making and enjoyment of  Visual Arts.


Renoir, Pierre Auguste (1841-1019) – 1867 Frederic Bazille at his Easel (Musee d’ Orsay)

6.Blogging creates understanding…..of others and our place in the World.


Artist: Joy Nakamarra (b. 1959 – )  Title: Honey Ants galjoy0708-1  Medium: Acrylic on LinenImage Size: 45 x 85cm  Framed size: 75 x 115 cm

Blogging showcases achievement…..and promotes excellence.


Lion Mask by Tahlia Grade 6 2009 at Taylors Lakes Primary School

8.Blogging creates a picture of what we’re about…… from the smaller parts to the “bigger picture”.
Grade 6 Mosaic, designed by Erika (pictured) presented at Graduation to Acting Principal Chris Sevior

9.Blogging fosters creativity…….. and  also allows for our individuality.

Junk Sculpture by Mariam of Grade 4, Taylors Lakes Primary School.
10.Blogging is the creation of an Art form…… it allows us to appreciate, celebrate and embrace the learning fostered by the Blog’s  existence.

Fullscreen capture 11012011 125257 AM.bmp

Screen Capture of Visual Arts @Taylors Lakes Primary School Blog hosted by Edublogs.In conclusion, I highly recommend Blogging  as a learning experience. It has enhanced my learning and teaching and, in so doing, enhanced my life.
Best Wishes on your own Blogging journey, Yvonne Osborn, Melbourne, Australia

Be Inspired

Over the past few years Mosaic art has  become a special interest area of mine. I had the opportunity to take part in Mosaic Workshops run by Nola Diamantopoulos of Sydney and Deborah Halpern of Melbourne. Nola’s horse, Enoran, was one which was simple in its design and coloring but which has emerged as a favourite of mine. Deborah was  photographed while polishing her work after she demonstated the grouting process. Australia Artist  Jane Byrne visited our Grade 6 students in 2008 and  inspired our work on the Year of the Rat mosaic. Jane showed us how extra interest can be added to a piece by adding cup handles and pieces of  old mugs, plates etc which have different textures. I have a lot to learn about mosaic art but I look forward to continuing to be inspired.



Year of the Rat

Sculpture Old and New

Among  my daughter Kate’s photos from China were some of sculptures in which she knew I would be interested. The  ancient Terracotta Warrior and his patient horse and the  modern junk sculptures of resting Kangaroos are hundreds of years apart in their making. However, they still allow us to appreciate the artists’ skills in capturing their mood and expression. There is an exhibition of selected characters from  the Terracotta Army at the New South Wales Art Gallery in Sydney until March 13th 2011. 



Where in the World?

Last year my older  daughter,  Kate, and my son, John, visited China. A highlight of their trip was seeing the  endangered Pandas at the Panda Research Reserve in Chengdu.  A lot closer to home, I visited Ballarat Wildlife Park and was pleased to be able to get up close to a Koala which is one of Australia’s endangered animals. It was a very wet day at the Park but that didn’t daunt the enthusiastic Kangaroos (from Kangaroo Island) who love to be hand fed and didn’t mind me patting their soggy fur. Wherever you are in the World, Ballarat Wildlife Park is worth a visit next time you come to Australia.




More Flora and Fauna

Digital photography has enabled us to keep a comprehensive record of where we go and what we do. Slide shows of our enormous photo selection bring  us a lot of joy (and a little embarrassment) as we recall the places and occasions. Today’s selection is a set of two  flowers from the UK   and a wombat from Ballarat Wildlife Park here in Victoria, Australia.




Always New at the Zoo

Looking for some images for today’s post I came up with some from a Melbourne  Zoo visit several years ago. Taken several cameras ago, the feathers don’t show up as well as they would if I took them with our current Canon 5D but they show  expression in their eyes and they would be good inspiration for drawing. The head only shot is of our flightless bird, the Emu.The bird which seems to be without a tail is a member of the Kingfisher Family and the third photo is of our Australian Pelican which is the largest of the World’s seven Pelicans. All three are timeless images which I hope you will enjoy.