Thursday, October 08, 2015

Internet and Smartphone Privacy and Security

Internet security laws in Canada (an across the globe) are evolving in response to developments in technology, software, and abuses and hacking. 

Digital Privacy Act Canada
Protect yourself by knowing your rights.

Cyberbullying laws Canada
Note the potential for serious charges for committing cyber crimes. 

Internet hoaxes
Most hoaxes are harmless, but the spread of misinformation occurs far more quickly now than in pre-internet days.  Don’t be a part the problem.  If a news story, image or video that finds its way into your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed seems hard to believe, it may in fact be false or faked.  A good website to verify potential hoaxes is Snopes:

Internet fraud
If you suspect fraud or are the victim of fraud on the net report it here.  First search the database to see if what happened to you has already been reported.

A year ago, a hacker leaked nude selfies stored in the smart phones of Jennifer Lawrence and other young actresses on the internet. People have a reasonable expectation of privacy when using their phones.   What the hacker did is a crime.  At the time of writing, the FBI is still searching for the culprit.    

Smartphone hacks are a relatively new phenomenon and cell phone manufacturers are responding.  Android phones are at greatest risk at present, mainly because they’re the most popular (like Windows vs Mac).  iphones are subject to the fewest risks also because of Apple’s tight control on apps and services. 

The biggest risk to privacy remains loss or theft of your cell phone.  (The finder can access your texts, emails and photos.)  Don’t leave your phone unattended.  Lock it with a password. If your phone is lost or stolen, report it immediately to your wireless service provider.  Apps are now available to allow you to remotely wipe your phone if it’s lost.  Avoid storing or sharing privileged or sensitive information on your phone.

Linking social media to Smartphones
Linking your email and social media accounts to your smartphone can be a very convenient way to keep on top of your inboxes.  Take precautions and weigh this convenience against the (still relatively small) risk of having a phone hack or infection lead to your computer being hacked or infected too (or vice versa).
Smartphone as Wallet
Using your Smartphone (or computer) to pay for goods and services is in its infancy, but may be more secure than debit cards in some respects.  The article linked above does a great job of examining the various options currently available. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My recent work and the work of a few of my advanced painting students will be on exhibit for the month of September at Gold's.  Please drop by.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Dear Gentle Students,

My spring session 2015 courses:

Registration for all City of Toronto recreation and culture spring courses in Scarborough is on March 8th, 2015. Register early to avoid course cancellations or waiting lists. You can sign up in person, online or by phone, Cedar Ridge: 416-396-4026, Cedarbrook: 416-396-4028.

Drawing and Sketching for adults at Cedarbrook C.C.
Wednesdays from 9:30am to 11:30am
9-week course
Spring session classes commence on April 1st.
Cedarbrook C.C. courses are offered for FREE

Sketch 2 Draw for youth (8 to 13) at Cedar Ridge C.C.
Sundays from noon to 1:30pm
10-week course
Young Painter's Studio for youth (7 to 12) at Cedar Ridge C.C.
Sundays from 2pm to 3:30pm
10-week course
Spring session Sunday youth arts classes commence on March 29th.

Registration for Momiji Centre spring courses is on or before March 30th, 2015. Sign up in person, by phone or by snail mail. A yearly membership of $25 is required along with your course fee.  For further information, please call the Educational Coordinator at 416-261-6683, ext., 242.  You can find Momiji's Spring course guide (coming soon) at:

Acrylic Painting for adults at Momiji Centre
Thursdays from 12:15pm to 2:15pm
8-week course
Spring session classes commence on April 16th.

Social Media Workshop for adults at Momiji Centre
Tuesdays from 9:30am to 11:30am
4-week workshop
Spring session classes commence April 14th.

I also teach art programming with Community Living Toronto on Mondays and Fridays. These courses are offered through CLT for adults with intellectual challenges.

Check this blog in the next couple of weeks for my spring 2015 adult program course outlines.
As always I'm looking forward to working with returning and new artists.

Register early!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Acrylic Painting at Momiji: Winter 2015 course outline

Acrylic Painting
Momiji, Winter 2015
Thursdays, 12:15 to 2:15pm
Instructor, Margaret Chown
Week 1 (Jan 15th)
Course overview. Theme:  Organic geometry. Students are invited to create work based on inspirational materials and demos according to their taste and style. Review of materials list. Demo on methods/mediums for smoothing brushstrokes, value.  Georgia OKeefe bones and flowers. Practice sketches (optional) Undersketch and background layer on small or medium painting surface.
Week 2 (Jan 22nd)
Complete Georgia Okeefe inspired painting. 
Week 3 (Jan 29th)
Van Gogh, Monet, practice landscape sketches (optional).  Review of landscape essentials (horizon line, perspective). Demo on clear Gesso (on birchboard) impressionistic brush strokes, impasto, alternative paint application. Undersketch and first layer of Monet etc. inspired landscape/ abstract on medium or large painting surface. 
Week 4 (Feb 5th)
Complete landscape. 
Week 5 (Feb 12th)
Klimpt, Matisse, Tim Burton inspired still life/abstract on medium or small painting surface.  Discussion on ‘beau arts, art deco’. Demo on still life, metallic paints, the ellipse, arabesques, stencils.  Contrast. 
Week 6 (Feb 19th)
Complete still life.
Week 7 (Feb 26th)
Animals: Rousseau, Franz Marc, painting on small or medium painting surface. Demo on fur/ feather textures, foliage, masking, movement.  
Week 8 (March 5th)
Complete animal painting.
Optional Workshop (March 12th)*
Demos and project based on student requests.  
*to be confirmed: room availability and interest permitting.