Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

and the Mother who learns to dry brush…

by Marcia

from I wonder why

As we began to incorporate more Charlotte Mason techniques into this homeschool, I introduced nature journals to the students.  This mother has begun to keep one too.   I’ve tried my hand at pencil drawing and charcoal, watercolor palettes and liquid watercolors,  and new colored pencils that change into watercolors.   It can be hard to decide what medium to take on a nature hike.  But above all it’s been a discipline to keep a nature journal going.

In the area where I live, a growing number of mothers meet on a monthly basis to talk about using Charlotte Mason techniques in the home.  In July of 2010 we decided try some Mother Culture of drybrush painting.  We began by watching a DVD by Eve Anderson.  She teaches the children how to observe in nature and then returns them to the classroom to demonstrate the  “dry brush technique” of watercoloring.

So we, too, went out to collect specimens

I found a birch tree similar to the one in my front yard.
A small portion of a branch was collected.
Then I spent about 10 minutes looking at my branch.
Determining the colors of green and brown.
Considering the leaf shape and the vein directions.
Then I layed my specimen next to my empty sheet of watercolor paper.
I used a basic set of 8 watercolors.  Basic watercolor brushes.
Upon Eve’s suggestion, I spent some time mixing the colors
to find the correct shade of greens.
She said that the one green color that comes
in the set is not a natural green and should not be used.
 I took some yellow and some blue to make these greens.
To mix the colors, I filled one medium brush with water.
Choosing yellow or blue, I collected a lot of color on the brush.
I moved the color to the side palate of the watercolor container.
 I also added some white and brown.
Each time a color was added I cleaned my brush with water.
With the basic colors created, I dried my brush on a paper towel
and collected the color onto the brush…
just a little at a time almost as if they brush was completely dry.
Using small amounts, I put color down onto my dry paper.
After quite a bit of time I found it much easier to make
the colors and shapes that seemed similar to the tree branch.
You can see at close up that I used some yellow, greens, and
some darker greens to create a shading effect as well as some empty spaces.
We mothers were very pleased that the discipline
of learning dry brush painting came as easy as it did.
Now to the discipline of keeping up the practice….

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Challenge to Self:

draw and paint everyday…

from Pam at The Passionate Homeschooler

The first thing to do is get the stuff out.

Then find a pleasant thing to draw. Use 140# paper if you want to paint it.

Paint with a light hand. It’s ok to use the kid’s watercolors.

ok, I’ll even put the rough stuff on here. Junco.

Me looking at said Junco!

Said Junco that kept moving! So adorable!

Why draw and paint?

It’s my passion. I can afford it. It helps me shine.
It takes a pencil and small pad. Portable!
It helps me count blessings and appreciate nature.
It’s a way to love my family.
(They set up next to me when they want.
Some of them join me)!
It  keeps me fresh.
It is small, but do-able.

It helps me smile. It makes me sit quietly.
It’s peaceful.
God’s ok with it.
He really is!

So what is your passion?
God bless you, and don’t be afraid to do something you love too.
(Just not too often, or people will talk!)

the link to my flickr is here:

the link to my homeschooling blog is here:

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My grandmother tells me I’ve been known as the storyteller in our family since I was about four-years-old. A few years ago I began taking workshops and classes for my personal enjoyment at the Eric Carle Museum on a range of topics that consider the art of the story. This past Sunday I found myself entertaining even deeper thoughts on storytelling while attending a local performance of The Nutcracker ballet.   We had progressed to Act II where candies from around the world entertain the young heroine, Clara, by performing traditional dances from their countries.

Imagine if you will, the famous Russian dance known as the Trepak – which tells it’s own political story since it is more factually Central Ukrainian via Zaporozhian Cossacks – being performed as part of a larger story which is told both through performance dance and Tchaikovsky’s most famous composition.   Better yet, the ballet is based on an adaptation by Alexandre Dumas — yes, of Three Musketeers fame —  of E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Add to that the recollection of a conversation I’d had years earlier with a friend who believes Hoffman’s work is an allegory of the Book of Revelation – though I would argue the symbolism goes even further.

Whew… can see why my head was spinning like a pirouette?

What is this fascination with stories?  I imagine you share the same fascination as an educating mother and lover of living books.   Two years ago I decided to really push myself and give oral storytelling a go.  I’ve now performed a handful of times, including at a Native-American Pow Wow and a Kabbalat Shabbat.    These experiences are positively scary but also exhilarating and, as the audience sits listening with wide-eyed attentiveness, I wonder if I’m being given a glimpse of what some of those story-tellers of old might have experienced.

Bible stories are my favorite to tell – heroic and romantic adventures that are even better because they are true.  The influence of story is evident, though in a subtler manner,  in the first chapter of Luke.   After Mary receives Elizabeth’s blessing which recognizes the deity of the child to be born to her, Mary exults in God and magnifies the Lord. Mary’s poetic praise is so full of quotations from the Old Testament, we can assume that as a child many were the occasions Mary also sat in wide-eyed attention as the stories of God’s merciful and faithful doings were told to her.

This Thursday I am to give a storytelling at a local women’s ministry, and I’m thinking of one along the lines of Song of Solomon, which recounts how the king disguised himself as a country man in order to woo a Shulammite girl.  You see, I’m wondering if they have ever met the Word from eternity past that stepped out of the Godhead and clothed Himself in humanity in order to gain a bride.  They may have heard that God is called the author of our life and the author of our faith, but I would like to introduce them to the Hero and their own part in the story.   Now that’s a romance even the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier’s Pas de Deux can’t hold a candle to.

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