Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kids Art Camp Van

So our van has had a bit of a face lift, two giant faces to be exact, in order to promote our summer art camp and after school art clubs.

The idea behind the blank pages the kids are holding up goes like this: Each child who takes part in this years summer art camp in July will have the opportunity to paint or draw a picture that will be judged by a few prominent Prince Edward County artisans. The 2 winning pieces of art will be printed in vinyl and placed on top of the blank pages on the van, so that the winning child artists will have their artwork zooming around the county and visiting local schools for as long as the van lasts. We will be picking one boy piece and one girl piece to match the characters on the van, but there's no guarantee that the winners will look exactly like the characters you see here!

Also, as we had to get a little promo for the shop in there, this is the view you will get when you are driving behind us.

Here's the close up:

And finally, here is a quick video of a walk around the van, so you can see how it all fits together:

If you have a child interested in joining the camp, read the next post (press conference), or visit for camp details. Oh, and watch for us next time you're out and about!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Press Conference for Summer Camp

The press conference on Tuesday was great and thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support for us! I think the kids had the best time doing some fun little projects while we chatted about what we are up to with the summer camp and our expansion that is happening this year.

We get to borrow the Big Red Shed in Milford this year! Yeah! It's a really nice new building that is right beside the playground and Mt.Tabor playhouse which is the old church in Milford.
I love the fact that we will be able to walk with the kids on the nature trail around the mill pond and over to the library during the week at camp.

People have asked me a number of times how this all started so I'll go back about 15 yrs ago to how it all began.

Tim and I met & graduated from Sheridan College's illustration program together in 1994 started doing freelance work as illustrators & graphic designers in Toronto. I wanted to teach kids art as well so I set up art workshops in High Park for a couple of summers. Then when my kids entered the school system I was able to volunteer in the classrooms and get to know the teachers and principal. My kids kept asking me to come in the school more and more and the teachers were asking me to help every week that there was an art project happening. Finally I asked the principal for use of an empty room to start a lunch program called the "Art Club". That started it all... there were so many kids wanting to come we had to set up new groups of kids every few weeks so that everyone had a chance.

Four years ago we decided to make the big move to Prince Edward County with visions of a new life. We opened up the Galloping Goat Gallery & Gift Shop in the little barn on our property in Black River by the well known Black River Cheese Factory. This has turned into a very popular spot, I'm not sure if it's the gorgeous view from the river shoreline, the fun, eclectic gifts we carry or the fact that we welcome people holding ice cream cones and even dogs on leashes!

My kids started almost immediately after the move asking for the Art Club to make it's debut here in the County. I went to South Marysburgh's principal asking for space and started the first after school Art Club. From there I added Pinecrest Public School, then Sophiasburgh Public School. This year with Tim's help and his very own stop motion animation art club we added CML Snider Public School, Queen Elizabeth in Picton and St.Gregory's Catholic School.

We had a 3 week Summer Art Camp in our backyard last year. We were filled to capacity with kids! This year I started in January trying to figure out a plan as to how to find a bigger space for the Art Camp and chatted to Bruce Dowdell in Milford and he suggested that the South Marysburgh Recreation Committee might be able to help me out. Off I went to their meeting in January with my papers of budgets and proposals and Chris Pengally, chair of S. Marysburgh Rec. Committee was more than happy to offer rental of Mt.Tabor's red shed to our camp. They also offered to sponsor 4 spots in the Art Camp for children that might not otherwise be able to attend due to finances.

Is this not a great community? Everytime I've hit some wall or glitch I start to ask around and always there has been support, advice or information that I needed to keep moving forward. It really is an amazing group of people that live here, I am so lucky to have all this support.

I also have Carol Rutledge partnering with me on the Summer Camp. She is like an energizer bunny with so much creative and musical talent it's going to make it a blast to work with her this summer.

Brianna Gorsline (1st year student at Sheridan College) is also back with us to help with the summer camp along with Stacey York (2nd year student at Trent University). They are both creative young ladies with lots of experience working with kids and Stacey is even going through University to become a teacher!

The Summer Art Camp will run weekly starting July 5th for 4 weeks, 9 am to 4 pm. Children need to be at least 7 yrs old or starting Grade 1 this September. Cost is $188 (GST included and materials supplied) for a full week. 10% discount to siblings in the same week.

My approach to teaching art is to create a fun and interactive environment for children to play, explore and create. This is not your typical classroom experience. There will be imaginative themes changing weekly that range from Magic is All Around to Colour Wonder. For more Summer Art Camp details go to the website Galloping Goat Gallery

For further information please contact me, Lesley Snyder by telephone at 613-476-9696 or email at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easy Landscape for Kids

I took more paint out again for Art Club today. Most teachers and parents, myself included usually avoid the whole paint thing in the classroom and at home with their kids. It can be disasterously messy for furniture, floors and clothes. Not to mention how everyone disappears when it's time to clean up and who wants to make a mess all over their kitchen table and find places for wet masterpieces to dry?

Well since this is a short Art Club session of only 4 weeks we are painting! I have been told by the kids many times that they love to paint so 4 solid weeks of painting! Last week was the challenge of putting into practice how to make the secondary colours in a rainbow using only 3 colours on their palette, red, yellow and blue. It's amazing how few kids really know their primary colours and which go together to make the secondary colours, orange, green and purple. The kids were surprised how hard it was to make a nice orange and the purple brighter. Also how quickly the colours got muddy when mixed less than carefully. Anyways we all survived and turned out some nice rainbows and they don't even know it but they just learned the school's art curriculum!

When I showed up this week the kids were a little worried about having to go through all that paint mixing again but breathed a sigh of relief at the bottles of "normal" colours! Pulling out the straws did confound them for a short time but with a quick demo of how to create trees using very liquidy paint they loved it!
Once I do the lesson of the techniques I really let them explore and play and create whatever they want.

It always surprises me when they ask permission to add flowers, a pond or a log lying on the ground.

I guess it's the years of being told exactly what to do, step by step, they tend to need to check in to see if it's OK to do things a bit different. It makes me a bit sad that our kids are so regimented that they feel they need to ask permission as to what they can add to their own art. As a painter myself I feel like I'm always trying to let myself really go in my paintings the way a very young child does without any consideration as to what people's interpretation might be. I'm being shown by these kids that that disappears very fast when they enter school. I guess it's the need to keep all those kids focused and learning within all the parameters that are set in the classroom.

I always say in response to a question like "Can I put flowers in my picture?" "You are the artist, it's your artwork so do what you feel will work best, follow your gut."

The usual response to that is the rather shocked question "I'm an artist????"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green Gala at Books & Company, Picton

The speakers at this event are Mark Cullen, Canada's best known gardener, television personality and author, Denis Flanigan Landscape Ontario HGTV, Scott Wentworth of Wentworth Landscape Group, Stephen Poole from Connon's Nurseries. Some pretty awesome speakers and I'm glad that I get to be there with my booth of wares to sit and listen to all the talks!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


So we have finally gotten all the details sorted out like location, projects and the sticky wicket... insurance. Now the fun starts with testing crafts and buying up supplies!

One thing we forgot on the poster is that for siblings, as in children from the same household, we will offer a 10% discount on the price of the camp for the 2nd child, and 3rd and so on.

Call or email us ASAP so that we can hold your child a spot and remember that all payments will need to be completed before July 1st if you want to avoid HST. That lovely tax set up the government likes to tell us that we won't even notice when they start it up! Oh, I think we are going to notice it big time!

9am to 4pm - ages 7 (entering gr 1) and up.

July 5th to the 9th - Monday to Friday - $179 per student
July 12th to the 16th - Monday to Friday - $179 per student
July 19th to the 23rd - Monday to Friday - $179 per student
July 26th to the 30th - Tuesday to Friday - $179 per student
All materials will be supplied.

Magic is All Around - Week 1 - creating wands, fairy homes, working with crystals and
making rune stones and wishing boats, hunting for fairies and elves...

Paint, Percussion & Paint - Week 2 - create a skin frame drum, design and paint a tribal
flag, making chimes, end the week with a performance of stomp-like music!

Colour Wonder - Week 3 - Solar dying, tie dye t-shirts, needle felting, build a kalidescope,
painting and lots of other colourful projects!

Finders, Keepers... Krafty - Week 4 - creating art from all the fabulous things that we
find all around us like twig fairy furniture, toad houses, herb dolls, stepping stones...

There will also be lots of other games & activities, nature walks
and swimming at the Mill Pond!

Register and complete payment before July 1st and pay only the GST.
After July 1st HST (13%) will apply.

The art camp will take place at Mt.Tabor in the red shed beside
the playground in Milford.

For more info look on our website

The classes will be run by Lesley Snyder, teacher of the after school Art Club at 5 local schools & owner of the Galloping Goat Gallery along with Carol Rutledge, an expericence crafter and director of Annie and Cinderella’s Christmas at Mt.Tabor. Community Playhouse.

For more information & registration call or email 613-476-9696.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Goat Girls

Knit and Purl love school day mornings. They know we are out early and the kids are running around and interesting to watch. It also means that they get me in the pen visiting with them and feeding them earlier than those two other days that I don't seem to show up until they are completely starving!! They even recognize the sound of the school bus and try to show off a bit when the kids come home in hopes they will come into the pen to play with them. I think they might need more friends! Soon all the visitors will keep them better socialized than this small crew of goat herders.

Hopefully the girls will get used to being on tie outs so they can munch on the grass and weeds and visit people. They are a bit skittish when I walk them on their leashes around to different areas that they haven't seen before. I really would love to just let them wander around but they will totally trash my gardens and eat everything that looks remotely like vegetation!

Belle sees me taking out her leash to walk the goats and gets all excited thinking she is going for a walk and then depressed when she sees it's for the girls. The girls are always cautious of poor Belle because after all she is a dog, very dangerous creatures, apparently for goats. Everytime I've taken the girls for a walk on their leashes and Belle tries to tag along, Knit constantly rears up on her back feet and tries to head butt poor Belle. She has only made contact once so Belle has learned the painful lesson to avoid goat heads & horns.

The girls are pretty wet in the video I took of them this morning and goats never like to be wet! The will be happy when the snow is gone and all the greens start growing. Of course the green stuff will disappear the instant the goats find it. It's amazing to think that pen area before the other goats arrived was so thick with greens you couldn't even see through it to the barn!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Laughter is ALWAYS the Best Medicine!

It is once again that time of year when the blues starts creeping in around us. Not enough sunlight and too cold to be outside, unless you don't mind your nostrils freezing together everytime you try to sniff away a runny nose because it's so freaking cold!

I tend to go the way of the blues in the month of Jan. and Feb. and haven't yet been able to escape to somewhere sunny during this time of year but I'm always hopeful that it will happen!

I'm leaving tomorrow for Toronto for the big gift show, which is combined with the toy show and a few others. My mission is simple, run around like a maniac to the 4 shows find all the cool unique things and buy, buy, buy but don't over spend! Oh did I mention I only have 3 days to do it in?

Thankfully my girlfriend is on the same mission for her newly opened gift shop Sacred Circle so we get to drive together and share a hotel room and catch up and lots of girl gossip. This way we both have a sounding board for what we think we might be acquiring for our businesses. It's a bit scary just jumping into this arena and all these helpful salespersons and their helpful suggestions of what else I should add to my order that would be fabulous!

So the list is long with "have to find these", "try to find something like this" and a few "does anybody make these?". The hard part is the booths are all gorgeous and professionally displayed that it is completely distracting and you end up looking at stuff that is completely not what the shop needs! But it is so fun! It's probably a very good thing you can't actually buy the items on display to take home for personal use or it would be very dangerous.

I do like going and seeing my funny sign lady and her husband since we do a whole lot of laughing and she always shows me all the newest signs. I also share with her some other sayings and funny signs I've seen around so she can go on the hunt to carry those as well.

I also think this line of vintage images with Anne Taintor adding in her brilliant lines are beyond hilarious! Anne Taintor you have a wicked sense of humour and I would love to have coffee with you someday! You are, I bet a fun person to hang out with!

For updates, Tim is now diligently pursuing his favourite thing to do, illustration and graphic design. This is a link so you can check out some of the things he has worked on. If you need anything along these lines created for yourself or business we would love to work with you. Long distance jobs are easy to do with the joys of the internet, anything is possible.

I'm also working out the details for the 2nd year of the Galloping Goat Art Camp for kids. We are going to have the camp at Mt.Tabor so we will have a better space to work in and a playground to use! There will be 4 weeks (Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm) this year with each week a different theme, which at this point I haven't exactly figured out yet! The cost has gone up a bit since things like insurance, summer students and renting a space have all become a factor. The good news is we have some way cooler art projects in the works! $180 a week plus GST, with 10% discount for any sibling also attending the same week. After July 1st payments will be subject to HST (13%). I need to do more research in regards to the HST and the camp fee but I think this is how it will work.

Carol Rutledge is partnering with me in the running of the art camp and bringing along her amazing skills in music and theatre to add to the art mix so it is going to be so awesome! Carol has worked with kids, for years and worked with the Mummers drama camp, directed a number of plays, like Annie, Cinderella's Christmas and tonnes more whose names have currently become lost in my head. Not to mention she is a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to working with her!

I have actually started a list of names of kids that already know they want to attend Art Camp since last year we ran out of spaces rather quickly. If you want to add your child's name to a week email me your contact info and I'll add them to the list. Please email your info instead of phoning, phone messages through my kids end up being a bit of a muddled mess sometimes. I will also email you all the specific details of themes in the next couple of weeks. I'm hoping to have all the details worked out before March break so I can hand out flyers to all the afterschool Art Clubs that I teaching.
Go and play in the snow if you can, it helps make it a bit less annoying! Not to mention it's a serious workout trying to haul yourself up the hill you just went flying down on your sled!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow Goats!

Here are Knit and Purl standing on their ramp with Knit at the top. Knit has this funny thing about using her hooves to paw at you. We can't quite figure out what she wants. She does it to her sister all the time too, as you'll see in the video. Knit has tonnes of personality and loves to do her little prancing, leaping into the air and has become very talented with walking on her hind legs trying to check out the food bucket when I come into the pen in the morning.

Knit really wants to play but she doesn't quite know what to do with me. Or maybe it's me not sure what to do with them. I'm cautious of those horns which they have no problem using on each other. Also I can't figure out if Knit racing around is because I'm scaring her or if she is just having fun.

I need to take the camera out and put it on the tripod and then play with her and get it on video. She loves to do these whirling leaps off of the little house and then race up the ramp but I need to clap my hands and sort of get her going which doesn't work so well when I have the camera in my hand. Not to mention the camera seems to be irresistible to them both trying to nibble on.

Purl has the curly coat and all the curls on her cheeks like big mutton chop sideburns. Knit has taken more after her mother and has no curl just this fuzzy straight hair that seems to stick straight out from her body. This should look pretty funny in the spring when it's twice the length!

The girls and the rest of us in the Galloping Goat Gang wish you a very Happy New Year!