Sunday, March 11, 2018

Drawing Shyness by Karen Andreola

Drawing Shyness

My children all liked to draw - - - and were unhampered by drawing lessons because I didn't give them such lessons in their early years. Only in later years did they have a few drawing lessons, on shape and shading.
(One resource was an old kit by Jon Gnagy. It was eagerly taken up.)

Before that, I simply said, "Draw what you see." 

That was enough.

I let them draw here and draw there - with no criticism from me (unless I was pressed. Then I'd give "one" pointer.)

"You like our pictures because you're our mother," they would moan.

"Okay, okay, if you wanna get picky - - - that sunflower is disproportionately wide in the stem." Choice vocabulary would always appease them. With that, my job was done. "Now, let me bring this basket of clean laundry upstairs and get another started in the washer."

Drawing is a sort of slow-growth "learn-as-you-go." I found children are self-correcting. Doesn't this make a teacher sound lax or lazy?

Miss Mason humorously admits to being "shy in speaking" about drawing. This is because she didn't hamper her students with instruction, either. The less a teacher does "for" students, the more she is frowned upon by the school-ish establishment. 

She didn't care, however. She simply let children draw what blossomed in their imagination connected with the reading of the day.

She was impressed, too, with how the children used "all their paper" in drawing what they observed of the world around them. *1

She says,

"They give you horses leaping brooks, dogs running after cats, sheep on the road, always with a sense of motion. . . a gardener sharpening his scythe, their mother sewing, a man rowing, or driving, or mowing.

They have a delightful and courageous sense of color, and any child will convince you that he has it in him to be an artist.”

“ . . . Their field studies give them great scope. The first buttercup in a child's nature notebook is shockingly crude . . . but by and by another buttercup will appear with the delicate poise, uplift and radiance of the growing flower." *2

How delightfully sweet!

*1&*2 Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Ed. p.217

Dear friend,
You are not a lax or lazy teacher if you give your students the assignment to draw - - - and then set them free - - - to draw what they see.

(I first made this a Facebook Post for Monday morning. Then, I thought I ought to place it on the blog here for those who prefer not to scroll there.)

Good News
Yolanda and Daniel are moving back to Lancaster County because he found a job here. Meanwhile Sophia and Andrew (and my grandchildren) are moving an hour away rather than three. We are all looking forward to seeing more of each other this year.

Yolanda is expecting a baby this summer. She has waited a long time. I'm praying she will keep the baby as the women in our family have a history of miscarriages. 

Spring is around the corner. Snowdrops are in bloom down the road. I hope, very soon, to be relieved of the symptoms of cabin fever. Weeding the garden has risen in my estimation to be a sought-after occupation. 

I am looking forward to digging in the garden - especially after watching the film "Secret Garden" with Margaret O'Brien last week. This melodramatic version (complete with temper tantrums) is actually pretty close to the book.

Until next time,
Karen Andreola 

Copyright Karen Andreola, 2018