Today was momentous in the life of my 4th grade daughter, Rachel: She was able to meet and spend some time with the amazing Oklahoma artist, Danny Gordon. Danny presented a session yesterday at the 2013 Oklahoma Technology Association and EncycloMedia Conference in Oklahoma City, and when I learned part of his story I knew I had to try and introduce Rachel to him. Danny started drawing when he was five, and Rachel started very early too. Perhaps most exciting, both Danny and Rachel’s favorite things to draw are DOGS!

Rachel & Danny Gordon

These are a few of Rachel’s recent dog drawings. She took photos of them with her iPad and brought them to show Danny today. I think he was impressed.

Recent Dog Drawings by Rachel Fryer (October 2013)

During Danny’s conference breakout session on Tuesday, he taught attendees how to effectively draw two different animals: a shark and an alligator. While I definitely don’t consider myself to be a gifted visual artist, I am trying to draw more as a “visual notetaker,” especially since that’s one of the featured digital products in my 2013 eBook, “Mapping Media to the Common Core: a handbook for creative digital teaching and learning.” This is the alligator I drew yesterday using the iPad app “Brushes,” following Danny’s easy-to-follow instructions. I also used “Brushes Viewer” software to create a 60 fps animation of my drawing steps. (This is a very basic drawing, so it’s just 4 seconds long!) I showed this to Danny yesterday on my iPad during his session, and he was very interested in this digital art capability.

A happy alligator

Danny loves to come speak to school groups and encourage students to develop their drawing skills as well as creativity! Please visit his website www.dannygordon.com to learn more. He also has a ton of amazing dog art items for sale, which he actually manufactures HIMSELF in his studio! Here is a photo of the flyer he passed out, with his pricing for school presentations. $150 for a full day of presentations at your school with students, including three different workshops, is a GREAT price. Rachel is going to see if she can bring Danny to her school by proposing this to her student council (where she’s serving as vice-president) and possibly asking PTSA for financial help.

School visit prices of Oklahoma artist Danny Gordon

Rachel’s 2010 video entry into a contest sponsored by the World Creativity Forum, “The Importance of Art Class at School and Creativity,” is one of my all-time favorites. Yes indeed, this young lady was PASSIONATE about art and creativity as a 1st grader, and still is today as a 4th grader, just like Danny Gordon!

You can’t put a price on inspiration and shared passion. What a treat it was to introduce Rachel to Danny Gordon! I hope many of you reading this post will check out Danny’s work so he can inspire budding artists like Rachel AT YOUR SCHOOL who are also waiting for moments of inspiration like today!

Check out more of Rachel’s art, books, and writing on her website: RachelFryer.com.

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