This little dish sits by our bathroom sink and every morning and night, for the past month has been a great little reminder. I’m a superstitious person. After I’m done eating, I never cross my silverware, I think bad news comes in three, if I accidentally put a shirt on inside out I can’t wear it that day, I never open an umbrella in the house or put new shoes on a table, I try to avoid the cracks so I don’t injure my moms back, you get the idea:) I believe the universe sends you signs to pay attention to, and will keep doing so until you actually listen.
We have been working hard these past years, building a business @artintheward , travelling for inspiration, painting with passion, growing three humans and trying our best to remain present and enjoy the moments while doing so. We are so thankful to our community of friends, family and artists that encourage us every step of the way and truly believe it takes a village to succeed.
We have some fun things coming up and a couple of shows next month that we are excited to be part of. But in order to make room for the new, we are clearing out some of the ‘old’. A bit of a ‘spring cleaning’ in all areas of our life! So stay tuned to our Instagram and we will share some work and the stories that inspired them.
BIG NEWS AND NEW BEGINNINGS!
We have BIG NEWS to share this Saturday, but we are just too excited to keep it a secret until then!!! I was always a kid to shake my Christmas gifts but never peak, so this feels something similar...except we can't wait until Saturday and just want to share with all of you now:) I know we have given a few hints away, but the big news has to do with the plans we have for the studio.
As most of you know, we recently decided to move our family and art practice to Collingwood, but we wanted to make sure our Guelph studio space remained an art space for artists and the community.
A couple of years ago, we became mentors in a program granted to the Guelph Arts Council in collaboration with SOFAM: University of Guelph. In the first year of the mentorship program, we were paired with Abby Nowakowski from the University. From this mentoring relationship, we maintained a connection that we have kept since. We have watched the activities of Abby, and her collaborative art partner Ahmri, flourish these past few years. We love their passion for art, their commitment to collaboration, and their involvement in the community. They are amazing individuals that make a pretty awesome collaboration!
So, THIS Saturday, we are gifting Abby and Ahmri the materials, space, supplies and connections needed to start their art business as they exit their final year at the University of Guelph and enter into the world of emerging artists! We are VERY excited and happy to be able to give back in this way to two very deserving alumni graduates.
Guelph, the University, the Arts Council and the community has given us so much and as we move towards a new journey, we wanted to give back in a meaningful way. So please, come celebrate with us Saturday in the studio from 6-9pm and welcome Abby and Ahmri to The Ward and their new studio home. We are so happy for them and look forward to celebrating their new journey in this amazing space! We look forward to how it transitions and grows under their direction.
Amanda & Kiel
PS...You can check out Abby and Ahmri's collaborative work on Instagram @ahmriandabby
Our Journey Abroad...so far!
Well so much for posting a blog every week! It’s been just over 1 month that we have been travelling through Italy and although we are doing most of our posts on Instagram and Facebook, I’ve been meaning to do a full update here. Turns out life with 3 kids and travelling can be very busy and the energy we have at the end of the day is usually used to raise a glass of wine to our lips and look out the window.
If you've been following along our journey on Instagram and Facebook you likely have an idea of what our days look like. We have learned so much about ourselves, each other, and the do's and dont's of travelling with kids. We have filled our stomachs with the most delicious foods and our hearts and eyes with many delights this country has to offer.
In one month we have....
There are too many photos to post, but we have put together a few from each place we have stayed for you to enjoy below. We are really looking forward to getting back into the studio and transferring some of these beauties on panels for our Italian series, but for now we are enjoying them as photographs and hope you do too!
When in Rome...
Our Fair Verona...
If you missed our Instagram posts, check them out here...
After the tick infestation at the apartment in Lucca last week, we decided to pack up and head to Florence. It was a whirlwind adventure that we hope to never have to go through again, but we are happy to be on the other side of it. We have been in Florence just a few days and are absolutely loving it! There is so much to see and do here that our month in this beautiful city will likely fly by! We will be sure to keep you posted on Instagram and Facebook and post some more photos of this lovely place soon.
Thanks for reading and following along our journey! Please comment below or ask us any questions you want to know....about the places we have been, travelling with kids, food recommendations, travel tips etc. We are happy to share anything that will be helpful!
Ciao for now!
17 years ago Kiel and I backpacked through Europe for 3 months, spending 1 month in Italy. We loved everything about it…the art, the food, the people, the architecture, the gelato! We have a very distinct memory coming out of the train station in Rome and seeing a family of 4 backpacking with their two young kids. We looked at them and said…”I hope that’s us one day”!
Well, in October we are flying with 3 kids (ages 8, 5 and 1) to backpack for 3 months to explore one of our favourite countries in the world, staying for a longer period in the City we named our youngest son after (Lucca)! Today is moving day to our temporary home in Rockwood before we leave in October to research our art, homeschool our kids and explore a country we fell in love with 17 years ago! Some people think we are crazy for taking 3 young kids backpacking but this is the sort of thing that lights our souls on fire and fuels who we are.
You can always find an excuse not to do something. There is always going to be a reason to push something as big as this off another month or year. There’s never a good time and always an excuse...to wait until the right number hits your savings account, or the kids are big enough, or hope to go when you retire. But life is unpredictable and tomorrow is never promised. With each year that passes, we felt the urge to make our dream a reality. We didn’t want to look back on our lives when our kids have grown up, moved out and onwards and wish we would have gone, done more with them while we could, and push off doing adventurous things until it was the ‘perfect time’. There is no such thing. The time you have is now and now is the time to say yes. To do something outside of the box, say yes to things you're passionate about, and take the road less travelled.
We hope you will follow along our journey and that our story inspires you to look at the beauty this life has to offer and say yes to things that light up your soul and warms your heart. Because at the end of the day, it's about having courage to do the things you love and are passionate about while being kind and having fun along the way!
HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUR CHILD'S ART...
...without using your thumbs or uttering those two words…good job!
I’m definitely guilty of the ‘thumbs up’ and ‘good job’ more times then I would like to admit, but I am making a conscious effort to change the words I use with my children, especially in relation to their efforts, creations and learning. Today we are hosting a PD Day Art Camp for kids in the Studio and I thought about an article I had read months ago about how to respond to your childs art. I also thought about our teacher training, which focused on encouraging learning and next steps. So for those parents whose kids are in art camps, or kids who bring home art from school or create art at home, or for those aunts and uncles or grandparents who get that special drawing from a little one, and don’t know how to respond without a 'thumbs up' or a 'good job', I have put together my fav top five suggestions from my readings of how to respond to art…
So the next time your child shows you their art, try some of these tips to help you avoid the thumbs up and good job. Not that either of those are necessarily bad, they just aren't great. It's kind of like a pat on the back. The child has your approval but there wasn't further learning for them or inquiry/interest from you. Responding in these ways will help you to celebrate your child’s creative efforts, encourage their learning journey and shows that you are genuinely interested in what they are doing. For more information and further tips, check out this article on the Globe and Mail, written by artist and art therapist, Sarah Teitel.
Thanks for reading!
Kiel and Amanda...a place for our thoughts, tips and tricks. Hope you enjoy!