All posts by SharpArt

I'm Janice and I run this site, I work with Kate on producing the art work. I'm based in Liverpool and Kate, London.

Intrinsic motivation v Carrot and Stick

Well, do bonuses really make us work harder? Surely all these highly paid bankers must be really focused, work relentlessly and solve problems quicker and faster then other mere mortals. Well, you will certainly argue that they didn’t think out of the box when it came to banking systems and the recent collapse of the banking world.  In fact Dan Pink’s argument would confirm that systems now in place will reinforce complacent, limited cognitive thinking, and will actually encourage a diminutive, inwardly spiralling system which will inevitably, fail us again.

Continue reading Intrinsic motivation v Carrot and Stick

Blood Brothers – New Blood…

Melanie C
Melanie C

Sporty Spice, Melanie C has joined the cast of Blood Brothers as Mrs Johnstone. It will be interesting to see how well she copes. I’m sure she will be great for the show. There’s bound to be a lot of interest in a scouse spice Girl in such a scouse role. There are already reports that  Baby Spice, Emma Buntun, will be supporting Melanie on Monday. And both Posh and Becks are believed to be doing the same.

I’m looking forward to seeing the show on Wednesday. Every other time I’ve seen this production in London, it’s had me in tears, I’m hoping Mel will do the same!

Illyria and the Three Musketeers – Huzzah!

The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers

This is a somewhat belated recommendation, as the season has ended, but should this  speedy romp ever energetically throw itself near your doorstep, then make sure you clasp your overflowing goblet close to your chest, ensure your preferred means of defence – sword, dagger, pistol – is well oiled and grab the nearest lusty knave or wench (why not both) to accompany you on this breathless journey. They don’t stop. There’s fight scene after acrobatic fight scene. Everyone on stage has a magical ability to transform themselves utterly. There was literally a cast of thousands, well hundreds, as the three Musketeers and D ‘Artagnan fought the Cardinal’s men. Amazing what can be done with a a couple of beards and a moustache. Continue reading Illyria and the Three Musketeers – Huzzah!

Illyria’s Dream

I was convinced it would not rain. We’ve had the hottest The Dream-Illyriaweather in years and the cloud cover was moving relatively quickly so rain should not have been an issue. And it wasn’t in the first half. We had the odd smattering and so were told we had one minute to get our brollies up as we wouldn’t want to miss this next bit! Bottom demonstrating the power of his roar. And let’s face it, Bottom’s roar is always a highlight.

Continue reading Illyria’s Dream

Found Eric yet?

Looking For Eric
Looking For Eric

Looking for Eric – what a gem. I loved this film. It’s beautifully crafted. I don’t know how they catch people reacting to each other so naturally. The central character is the most unlikely hero. He’s certainly not your Alfa Male, but he’s just lovely and he has your sympathy right from the start. I was so frustrated for him with his break down, thoughtless step lads and that shabby, and my god it was shabby, house.

Continue reading Found Eric yet?

The Mysterious Ambassadors

The Ambassadors - the history behind the painting of Holbein's The Ambassadors.The Ambassadors At The National Gallery

It is just amazing. You can see them casually standing, waiting for you, on an end wall through several linking rooms. Two friends, in all their brilliant finery. They are very patient. Don’t appear to be in a hurry. But I suppose when you are at the king’s disposal, time is not your own. And Jean de Dinteville was the unhappy representative of King Francis I of France at Henry VIII’s turbulent court. He seemed to have spent much of this visit, in 1533, waiting for the coronation of Anne Boleyn on 1st June. An intriguing time as they had already married in secret in January before Henry divorced Catherine. As well as ordering thirty tons of Gascon wine to shield de Dinteville against the best of England’s cold and damp, he would no doubt have been instrumental in the negotiations that led to Francis I being godfather to their new born child, Elizabeth.

His friend, Georges de Selve, a bishop of Lavaur in southwest France, apparently made a secret appearance at this time. And how better to celebrate a secret meeting, “which was no small pleasure” to de Dinteville, than to have one of the most iconic images of the time painted in its memory – that which we now call The Ambassadors.

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Don’t Miss This Opportunity… Oh, go on then…

Have decided to take the plunge back into murky academic waters again, It’s a bit scary, I have to say. Although the reason I chose this course was because it seemed totally self-indulgent and not in the least wordy. Creative Teacher – what an excellent way to reflect the creative curriculum, (how many boxes does that tick? –oh, and the brownie points…) and be completely selfish at the same time, thought I.
The paper, Postgraduate Professional Development: Creative Teacher, was shown to me in the staff room – my friend often does this to me – very casually – you could do that – and, yes, it did look interesting. But, as I’m sure so many other teachers will agree, It’s just another bloody piece of paper to file away or make a momentary decision about, in the course of a decision riddled day. Most of the time I leave these pieces of paper to fester in some pile until their sell buy date has well and truly expired, allowing me the privilege of no decision. But this piece of paper just kept bobbing up to the surface and winking at me.

Continue reading Don’t Miss This Opportunity… Oh, go on then…

Degrees aren’t worth anything – You think?

I love listening to inspirational speakers. They imbue such a feeling of warmth and endless possibilities that I just want to run with or shout out there ideas. I remember listening to an inspirational speaker, Sir John Jones. His plea was very similar to Sir Ken Robinson’s (see below) – a review of our perceptions about education, creativity and how we learn.

One anecdote made me swallow back tears. He talked about how we can be trained into conditions, like flees. Flees can jump extraordinarily high considering their mass. But if you trap one in a cup and put a lid on it, it will eventually learn to jump to the height of the cup. And if you take away the lid it will still only jump as high as the cup – so never jumping out.

Admittedly, that’s not the part that made me tearful.

Continue reading Degrees aren’t worth anything – You think?