Its been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words” because a powerful photograph can capture our thoughts and emotions. Over the years, photography has become an integral part of our everyday life. Did you know the average American encounters over 1000 camera images a day?
Photography was “born” in the 1820’s. A French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce was experimenting in printmaking and discovered a way to copy engagements onto glass. In 1827, he improved his photo making process and placed his lens facing the window and, after eight hours, the earliest camera photograph in existence came about, View from the Window at Le Gras and shows parts of the buildings and surrounding countryside of his estate.
Most of the early photographs were portraits. Now cameras are a part of our daily life, recording birthday parties, vacations, and family get-togethers. They allow us to see outer space, cells in our bodies and even our favorite movie stars. What will you decide to take pictures of? Take a journey and learn more about our favorite Soaring Photographers!
Since it is impossible for anyone to know exactly what it feels like to be you, you are actually the only person who can really tell your story. There are so many different kinds of authors out there- fiction writers – where the stories they create are not based on actual facts. These include action-adventure books, mysteries, and fantasies. Nonfiction writers write about factual things such as history, art, biographies, or school textbooks.
One of life’s simple pleasures is escaping into a good book. At Soaring Authors, we have many famous authors who share a behind-the-scenes look at how they write. You’ll learn what inspires them and how to transform a “story idea” into a story or book. There are many writing activities organized around different subjects, different holidays, and different emotions to express how you are feeling.
On Valentine’s Day, I took the plunge and “officially” became a licensed Zumba® Fitness instructor. This marked a big step in building a strong, global collaboration with the Zumba® Fitness family where I’ve met some of the most positive, high-energy people devoted to bringing joy and possibility into so many lives through dance. Confession time, I am proud to report that I was able to keep up in the 8-hour Master Class led by Marcie Gill and DJ Francis. And, the next day I could even walk and nothing was sore! Check out the latest news and developments from Soaringwords.
Johnson & Johnson employees enjoyed mentoring 50 fourth graders at the Franklin Park Elementary School in NJ. Together they created SoaringSuperheroes® – inspirational messages and artwork to donate to patients and families at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Each participant made his or her own unique superhero. MORE PHOTOS
Guess Who’s Helping Kids in Hospitals?
Perhaps you have heard of pet therapy when animals are brought into a child’s hospital room to elicit a smile? Well, Soaringwords has pulled together an entire zoo to cheer up hospitalized children. We teamed up with author/songwriter Howard Eisenberg to promote his brand-new whimsical Guess Who books: Guess Who Zoo; Guess Who Farm; and Guess Who Neighborhood! Together with our friends at M.INK Productions, Soaringwords created a magical Guess Who Zoo video to entertain children in Soaringwords hospitals around the world. Broadway actors sing adorable riddles as the children guess each animal’s identity. WATCH VIDEO
You can help share the Guess Who love and excitement with ill children with our special BUY ONE, GIVE ONE offer. When you buy a book, Howard will donate one to a hospitalized child. BUY HERE
Soaringwords + Zumba® Fitness take Hollywood by Storm
We had such a fabulous time in LA at the Zumba® Fitness instructor Conference. We loved seeing the palm trees as we drove to and from the Convention Center. Inside the conference, things got pretty cool when 248 Zumba® Fitness instructors volunteered to lead free monthly Soaringwords + Zumba® Fitness activities in pediatric hospitals. To date, 1,770 Zumba® Fitness instructors in 62 countries have signed up to share the healing power of Soaringwords and Zumba® Fitness. We also visited 100 students at the KIPP Raices Academy in LA. Students loved making new friends, learning new moves, and making SoaringSuperheroes® for hospitalized kids. MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEO .
Save the date! March 28, 2014.Join us for the fun with Gina Grant and Dahrio Wonder. Purchase your ticket now before the event sells out click here.
Viva la Brazil
On Valentines Day, dozens of adorable pediatric patients and their families enjoyed the launch of a Soaringwords + Zumba® Fitness class at the Hospital Municipal Miguel Couto in Rio de Janeiro.
Dazzling and radiant, Tacia Williams has been volunteering at Soaringwords for the past seven months since we met her at the global Zumba® Fitness Convention. Each week, Tacia leads a Soaringwords Educational Outreach program at PS 84 in NYC. She has made valuable contributions to our Soaringwords curricula and shown real leadership as part of the Soaringwords social media team. Tacia just got back from a service trip to Uganda where she shared Soaringwords superheroes and the healing power of dance with many local children whose lives she touched. Tacia is completing her masters in Psychology at New York University.
SoaringHealth & Wellness How can ill children use their character strengths, such as kindness and gratitude, to experience more well being in the midst of serious illness? For the past several years, Soaringwords has been pioneering the use of strengths such as creativity, love, humor, perseverance, bravery and curiosity to give patients the opportunity to express these strengths through projects that are donated to other patients. While Lisa was getting her master’s in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, she had the honor of meeting Ryan Niemec, Educational Director, Mayerson Family Foundation. We are collaborating to bring more empirically-based character strengths interventions to patients and families to enhance well-being. The Mayersons and their team pioneered the ground-breaking work of Dr. Chris Peterson and Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of the field of positive psychology. Learn what your unique character strengths are, take the survey.
Soaringwords is hiring a talented account manager with strong sales experience to manage the Soaringwords + Zumba® Fitness collaboration to bring free monthly classes to hospitalized children around the world. We are looking to hire immediately. Learn more here. Summer internship applications are open. Soaringwords has mentored more than 110 interns and we are looking for people who are intelligent, full of zest and curiosity, creative and want to make meaningful contributions. For internship information and application click here. Please contact us if you are interested in launching a team-building employee volunteer program, off-site, inspirational speaker or community event. Share Soaringwords for Take Your Child to Work Day on Thursday, April 24. Kindly contact email@example.com or call Greta at 646-674-7105 to set up a time to speak with us.
I am inviting you to become a Soaring Artist® and share your creative artwork with hospitalized children. Your artwork will help a child feel loved and supported. Your drawing can brighten up their room and make them smile and laugh.
Your creative drawing can also inspire hospitalized child to create artwork for another person, maybe their mom or dad, or favorite nurse or doctor.
Here’s How to Get Started:
Think of the theme for your artwork.
Read stories and get inspired by other artists. See below.
After You Create Your Artwork: You can give your special artwork to someone who is ill. Or, you can mail it to Soaringwords and we will share it with a hospitalized child.
Stephen Bennett is a talented artist who makes enormous portraits of people from tribes and rural communities all around the world. Stephen has traveled to 25 countries including Mexico, Australia, the Seychelles and Tanzania. Stephen is inspired by the strength and beauty of each person. His passion is to travel around the globe to remote places that are very far from big cities. When he goes to a distant country he lives in the village for several months. This is how he gets to know the local people really well. They begin to understand each other and trust each other. Stephen makes gorgeous portraits while he is living among the people. His artwork has been shown in many art galleries all around the world including an exhibit at the United Nations.
Stephen was hospitalized for many months when he was a teenager. When he was in the hospital his friends brought him sketch books which helped him pass the time and forget about the pain of his shattered leg. Each day he would draw the faces of the people bringing him food, the nurses and his roommates. As the months went by, he re-learned how to walk. He also became more interested in his artwork. We know you will be inspired by his story.
Below are some photos of Stephen leading SoaringArtist workshop at Montefiore Medical Center:
Watch the video below and make artwork to decorate your hospital room or to share with another hospitalized child in your community.
1. Make a portrait in the same colorful style of Stephen Bennett. In the video, Stephen shows his passion for people through the use of bright colors and a lot of powerful energy. His style is unique with the intense rainbow colors he uses to make the faces. You can also make a self-portrait of your face. Experiment by using really unusual colors – maybe you want to have a blue nose or purple hair! Have fun and see what happens when you get started. One of Stephen’s paintings was called Hundred Mile Smile. You can name your painting when you are finished.
2. In the video, Stephen talks about how much he loved making sketches while he was in the hospital. All you need is a pencil and an eraser and some blank paper to start sketching people. You can also draw objects — perhaps you want to arrange somethings you like onto the tray table in your hospital room. You can arrange two or three things in a grouping and make a still-life painting or sketch.
3. In the video, Stephen talks about the funniest thing that ever happened to him on one of his trips. Remember when the native boys played a trick on him with the reef sharks! What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you? Can you draw a picture or make a painting about it? Can you write a short story (a couple of paragraphs) and share this funny experience with other kids through Soaringwords?
After You Complete Your Artwork:You can give your artwork to someone who is ill. Or, you can mail or email it to Soaringwords and we will share your gift with a hospitalized child and/or post it on our website. Soaringwords 1 Penn Plaza, 9th Floor New York, N.Y. 10119 T. 646-674-7105 firstname.lastname@example.org
For as long as I can remember, I was always drawing. As a little boy, when I watched Popeye cartoons on TV, I drew the cartoon characters the whole time. When I was twelve, I re-created the signing of the Declaration of Independence. My parents framed it and it still hangs in my mother’s house today. I didn’t take my first art class until I was 20. I became an architect, but painting and art have always been my first love. For the past several years, I have been painting really large canvases–5ft x 5ft . In fact, we’ve run out of wall space in my house. I also enjoy drawing and painting with my sons. Sometimes our whole family goes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and sketches urns or armor or whatever we like. We always bring art supplies on our family vacations. Joshua, my youngest son, loves to make submarines, planes, dinosaurs and knights. My favorite thing to paint is people. I take a class where a model stays still for 2.5 hours at a time so we can paint her or him. After 8 weeks, we get a new model to paint. Painting makes me feel relaxed and creative. I hope you enjoy being a SoaringArtist. You can click on the images to enlarge them.
Swimming Life is like a stream or a flowing river through which we swim. Some days the water is calm, other days the water is choppy. This painting reminds me that I am swimming through my life. Fun Activities to Do: What sports or hobby do you love? Can you make a painting of your favorite hobby or sport? Can you write a poem or Haiku about your favorite sport or hobby?
Portrait This portrait was shown in a student show at the National Academy of Design. Fun Activities to Do: Draw a picture of yourself (called a self-portrait) or someone in your family. Write a story or a poem about the person you drew.
Still life is a painting of objects instead of people, animals or places. Still life got its name because the subject of your painting sits there (they are still, instead of moving!). I fell in love with painting still lives after seeing a painting exhibit by an Italian artist named Giorgio Morandi at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Morandi spent his entire life painting still lives. The next morning I gathered some bottles from around my home and started painting them. I think I painted 15 different canvases with bottles and objects inspired by Morandi’s work. There are probably many objects and things in your hospital room that you can paint. Maybe there are apples or pears on your lunch tray. Perhaps there is a stuffed animal or mug. You can arrange these objects on your tray table or night table or window sill and sketch or paint them. It’s a good idea to have a few objects in your composition to make it more interesting.
How to draw a face
1. The first thing to do before lifting your pencil or your brush is to look at the person and their facial expression. 2. Look at your drawing surface and try to lay out the general size of your drawing. 3. Make a general sketch of the picture you intend to draw, but draw it faintly and in loose lines. 4. Try to get an overall sense of the face or head as a shape, a ball, an egg or an oval. 5. Once you have completed the sketch, start focusing on the features – the location of the nose, the eyes and mouth. You might also want to focus on the shadows on the face and draw them as blocks of dark against lighter blocks. 6. If you are working in paint, focus on working across your entire surface. Cover the whole surface in general color -never work on details early in the game. Take big and broad strokes. 7. If you are doing a drawing, work on the whole surface, not a little piece. Start from the general and work your way to the detail or the particulars. 8. Unless you have to catch a train, bus, or a taxi–take your time. Drawing or painting is a slow and patient activity. Art rewards patience. 9. Remember looking at a favorite toy/clothing/ food in a shop window and how you enjoyed every detail of the object? Drawing and painting helps you appreciate and re-create these details.
P.S. This is a portrait of my wife, Lisa (the Founder of Soaringwords) reading a book, which is one of her favorite things to do.