Blog post #5

The latest meeting, I had with my mentor was on a hiking trip. We had scheduled a trip to walk around Bunsen Lake because the location was convenient for both of us. This was my metros idea to practice sketching and getting the base layers down for colors. This was an enjoyable way to expose me to a new environment for painting.  Having a different opportunity proposed such as this is helping me understand and learn new painting techniques. I would like to try completing a whole painting while on a hike. This would be a good chance to reference images and objects in person, giving me time to observe textures.


Having a mentor that has so much experience is helpful, as well as someone who self-taught most of their knowledge has really been helpful. He understands how to explain the skill in an understandable fashion. He has also been able to advise me on different YouTube channels that could help me with new skills. I’m currently learning about different brushes and can’t wait for my next meeting.


unforunutly i wasnt able to add photos becuse of teach issues.

In-Depth #3

I and my mentor thought it is important to meet a minimum of once every two weeks. This will give me time to progress on my own and still have frequent meetings to learn new skills. Each online meeting is about two hours, half is spent learning the skills and the other is spent practicing and showing my “homework”. Jason, my mentor, though it would be a good idea to find additional times we could meet in person. He thinks that we could make a covid safe meet-up by going on a hike or meeting at a viewpoint with our materials. This would be great because of how you often use a reference in watercolor painting.


I’m really enjoying getting a chance to paint with Jason on calls because it’s an opportunity to ask questions as challenges appear. Though I do have these times set aside for any questions that do appear, I also most often communicate with Jason over text. This gives me a direct but not reagent way to contact Jason throughout the weeks.

Unfortunately, I have yet to have received my online order of waterproof pens, leading to a slower process of my painting. Though this is a bit of an inconvenience Jason and I have used it as an opportunity to practice different skills. It has been really great to have a questioning system and a way to have open discussions because it helps with communication.

In-Depth #2

In-Depth #2

Ellie practiced with reference drawing. trying to look at more detailed images.

During my last meeting with my mentor, Jason, we talked about how he got introduced to watercolor painting as well as supplies that have worked for him. We discussed what watercolors mean to him and why he’s kept up with the painting throughout his life. After learning the meaning of watercolor painting to him, I learned about the different kinds of supplies you use in different techniques and styles of watercolor painting.

At a young age, Jason was immersed in art with sketching around the age of 12. He never really got into painting

with watercolors until he turned 20. when he was about 12 years old he started doing pencil drawings, mostly drawings of cars, motorcycles, and nature he found interesting around his house. When he was turned 20 he had a paralyzed friend that was a watercolor painter. Jason went to visit him one summer as a helper for a weekend-long painting course near Kingston. since then he just kept practicing his painting and has taken courses throughout the years.

In the last meeting with my mentor, I learned about the different kinds of supplies you use. We mostly discussed

Ellie practiced with landscape reference drawing.

different paper that is used for watercolor paintings, hot press paper, and cold press paper. Both these terms are talking about the surface finish of the paper. Cold press paper is left with a bumpier surface with more texture. Cold press is also more common to see artists working on because it is great for large areas of wash and for fine detail. Hot press paper is also used for watercolor painting and has a finish of a smooth untextured sheet. It is made of 100% cotton and is used when you want an easy flow of colors. The hot press can also withstand more rough handling meaning it’s more common in high-quality “sketchbook style” watercolor booklets. Jason recommended that I practice with both and look at getting a Moleskine book to practice with. it will also help me gain an understanding of the paint and handling techniques.


Why art?

I think that art as a broad form is often used to feel closer to someone you may have lost or even to your own emotions. It is an expressive outlet that is universal to all and is so subjective, attracting most in the variations of its expressions. so to summarize, the meaning of art is too extensive you can be a novice and still create art.

“Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with reason, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge.”

– Leo Tolstoy


In-Depth #1

In-Depth Watercolor Introduction

This year when I was asked to pick a topic/skill for in-depth to learn about I knew immediately that I wanted to work with something artistic. I have always enjoyed creative ways of art and different ways to express myself and have worked with different ways to do so. In the past, I have worked with oil painting, sketching, and charcoal drawing in abstract and realistic styles. One form of painting I wanted to learn how to work with is watercolor painting. In my opinion, I think that it is more difficult to work with because of the patients you need and the variety of techniques.

Jason Currier’s painting from Hawaii

When I chose watercolor painting, specifically landscapes, there was a part of me choosing this to redeem myself. I have many times before tried to self-teach myself how to use watercolors and failed drastically. I mean that in the best way possible, I could learn from my mistake and work on it but at those times I didn’t have the patients. That makes in-depth a great opportunity to learn with the support of a mentor and motivation to succeed.

Watercolor painting is one of the more practical styles of painting. It is mostly used in a dried form, and you do not need an extensive amount of surplice to use it. My original fascination with watercolor came when I went camping as a kid and saw someone painting the view on the hike. He was just standing in the middle of the trail painting. I thought he was insane because he couldn’t sit there for hours waiting for it to dry but within minutes he had packed up and folded the painting into his pack. I later learned that though patience is a large part of painting, the lightweight and minimal supplies make it ideal for bringing outdoors. It also is less time-consuming to get the layout and basic coloring done ending still with a dry painting, asking it to vary practice for long hikes and camping trips.

During my search for a mentor, I settled for asking my parents friend from university. He, Jason Blake, has never worked professionally as a painter but has over the years taken classes and has years of experience working with watercolors. Occasionally, we meet up with their family as family friends and he always brings his paints. On hikes, he has always painted beautiful landscapes and included details that I didn’t realize make or break the paintings turn out. I thought he would be a perfect choice to have as a mentor because of his passion for painting. Jason has painted for as long as I can remember, and I can’t wait to learn more from him.

Jason Currier’s painting from Hawaii

During my first meeting with Jason, I pulled up my learning contract and went over my goals to make sure he thought they were reachable. The big part of what we looked at was my set vision and goal. “By the end of my time spent on in-depth, I would like to be able to recreate landscapes from a reference with detail by merging drawing and watercolor painting. Recreating a real view onto a page while practicing two different skills and bringing them into one specific goal.” I stated as my vision, and my goal as follows. “To achieve this, I will need to look at external sources with different points of view. I will also need to keep an open mindset to achieve merging skills and have patients with finding the right techniques.” Jason and I talked about the best way for me to reach my goal and we concluded that my plan to measure my projects through bookmarks would be a good way to focus my focus on building my skills.

Before we move forward with tasks, I have created three before simple paintings and I hope to show my learning visually. I can’t wait to start learning more about watercolor painting and look forward to seeing my progress.

– Ellie Johnson


John Maxwell Leadership Reflection


Something that really stood out to me thought watching John Maxwells The 360° Leader videos was the myths he talked about. One is specific is “The Potential Myth” (Maxwell,2013), because in the past I have believed it to be true. In fact, I think I have even argued it was true in many scenarios. In the past I can say that I bought into the Myth quite heavily, I struggled with understanding that I could still further my leadership skills without being at the top. “The Potential Myth” (Maxwell,2013) sounds like a reasonable thing to buy into until you hear Maxwell’s definition of their thinking. “I can’t lead if I’m not at the top” (Maxwell,2013). The quote confused me quite a lot when I first heard it, maybe just because Maxwell lead with only that sentence. Later, he goes on to describe what he meant, “leadership is a choice you make not a place you sit.” (Maxwell,2013) I don’t think anyone could have said it better. Though there are literal jobs you can be hired to do as a leader it doesn’t just make you a leader. Having a title doesn’t make you good at the job. There are different attributes you need to obtain in unorder to be a leader no matter what pedestal you are put on, so whether you’re at the “bottom” or the “top” of anything it doesn’t make you a leader until you are a Leader.


“The Freedom Myth” (Maxwell,2013) is another myth that stood out to me. The myth pretty much states that once you are at the “top” in your business that you no longer have restrictions. In the note package, there is a diagram explaining why this is not true. As you go climb higher on this scale, you gain more responsibility and fewer rights in the operation. If you are a customer, you are pretty much the opposite, with more rights and almost no responsibility in the operation. Though the “top” may sound like the easiest job, with it is responsibilities you’ll want to consider if that’s really what you want. You may not be fit to be that kind of leader as well. Being given more responsibility is more time-consuming and, in this position, you have less flexibility in your decisions. People often are mistaken that you can not lead from the middle either, that is not necessarily true. Many assistances do more leading than a CEO, delivering carrying messages, arranging schedules, and passing on messages. The CEO is often caught up in responsibilities and more written work where the assistance is often more person-to-person. I think that this plays into the “The Freedom Myth” (Maxwell,2013) because the assistant is not at the top but still has leadership and has more freedoms than the CEO.  The assistance also has less pressure more often than the CEO of the company because everything does not fall tho their shoulders.


Be a friend. This policy I could not agree more with. It is not saying suck up to the leader, never should you do that. It means to be a friend to your leader. “A be a true friend hear and understand when you share your deepest feelings. He supports you when you are struggling; he corrects you, gently and with love, when err; and he forgives you when you fail. A true friend prods you to personal growth, stretches you to your full potential. And most amazing of all, he celebrates your success as if they were his own.”(Maxwell,2013). This definition of friendship to your leader is perfect. I don’t agree with the pronouns used, but I agree with the concept. the last line, “And most amazing of all, he celebrates your success as if they were his own.”(Maxwell,2013) relates most to being a friend to your leader. If your leader is doing their job even remotely right, inspiring and motivating their coworkers, then their success is yours. Being in a group setting in the first place, everything is shared. your ups and downs in the operation are shared and affect all, so you might as well do it as a friend. Everything works best with a friend of others and that is exactly what a leader needs. As a leader, you are looking to grow, and having that person be there to support and critique, gently and supportively, is what a growing leader needs. Next time you are in a group with a leader, be a friend.

Learning Center: Jane Goodall

Welcome to my learning center about Jane Goodall. After going through my VR exhibit please take the time to comment on my blog.

Please start by clicking the door then move on to pressing play at the bottom of the exhibit.

If you want to learn more click here and it will take you to the Jane Goodall Institute’s page.

“We can have a world of peace. We can move toward a world where we live in harmony with nature. Where we live in harmony with each other. No matter what nation we come from. No matter what our religion. No matter what our culture. This is where we’re moving towards.”

– Dr. Jane Goodall’s message for #peaceday.

Interview reflection

Unfortunately, this year I was not able to obtain an eminent interview with anyone. I sent about three emails to different experts and received only one reply. The JGIC team sent me an email reply, stating “our team is busy at the moment and hard to get a zoom meeting with their approaching deadlines. Can you perhaps send an email with a list of your questions and we can respond via email!” To follow up I sent them a reply thanking them for getting back to me and sent them a document with the questions on it. I gave them about a week and a half before following up with a respectful reminder email, this is the point that I think I could have made the decision to find a different interviewee. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to make that choice and waited till three days before the deadline to send another reminder email. It was quite a struggle as well because they did reply confirming they could do the email interview and I had put too much confidence in the one interview. In the future, I would set deadlines for myself to make sure that I know when I need to seek out a different interviewee. I was very frustrated when they didn’t reply to my follow-up emails, but they did say that their deadlines were coming up so I should have originally confirmed that they guaranteed could have it done by the due date.

– Ellie Johnson

Practice Interview Reflection

Practice Interview Reflection
– Ellie Johnson

Having a chance to participate in practice interviews has given me a great opportunity to reflect on my previous skills. It allowed me to critique how in the past I have interviewed people. Interviewing was not taught throughout my middle school years, and I’ve only ever had a chance to practice being the interviewee. I appreciated the feedback I got from my evaluator. They caught things that I wouldn’t have seen, such as elaborating on my questions to get more detail from my interviewee. This feedback could help me in the future, especially in any future interviews I do to get the most out of it. I could use this feedback to strengthen my interviewing skills. I also thought that I could work on my introduction to improve my interviewees understanding of TALONS. There were times I felt that I could summarize a bit more on what TALONS is about to keep it brief. I tried to stretch out the introduction and head back to the feedback my evaluator gave me, the interview is meant to learn more about the interviewee. I struggled with understanding how my interviewee was answering my questions, I felt that I needed them to elaborate on their answers and give me more content. I struggled with asking follow-up questions because they wouldn’t go off course from their first answer. They would stick with their short answers from previous questions and not give me much to go off. Part of this confusion however was also because I didn’t have the interview knowledge to ask specific questions and left them with broader wide-open questions. This made it difficult for both of us to work as an interviewer and interviewees.

Commenting Reflection Gr.9

Reflection on commenting

During the commenting phase, it gave me a great opportunity to learn more, not just about their eminent pick, but about different writing styles, organization, and the visual aspect. I learned from reading others’ posts, one of which would be the visual aspect of the blog itself. I left my blog relatively basic but seeing others inspired me to change and individualize my blog. I found that including pictures in their blogs made me want to keep reading. I also saw the difference in writing styles, the differences in the righting made it seem like ‘their own’ writing stiles. You could see the individuality in the way it was written. Through commenting I did struggle with finding criticism and I didn’t want to negatively affect their self-esteem. I struggled with commenting critique that I needed myself as well. Though this may have been a struggle I also could find some constructive criticism for myself. It helped me Identify the positives and negatives in my writing, and allowed me to improve my blog.