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


  1. Love this post, my children all loved to draw and we too, "drew what we saw" though some drew better than others, they were all beautiful!
    I still have all their drawings in a treasure chest!
    Will be praying for Yolanda.
    My own daughter-in-law is due in 5 weeks!! I will be a nonna for the first time. So excited !!- here in Australia we are looking forward to Autumn, have been knitting and have made a baby quilt for my new grandchild!!!
    Again lots of prayers for you and your family.
    I am a silent devotee, but today I truly wanted you to be assured of continued prayers!

    1. A grandchild is a cause for excitement. So good to hear from you, Annamaria.

  2. What wonderful news! Yolanda is in my prayers.
    I agree about a no-pressure approach to creative expression.
    Have a happy Monday. God bless your family!

  3. Thank you for this lovely post. It's always exciting to see a new entry from you in my inbox! Thanks, also, for sharing your news about your children moving closer to you, and about Yolanda. She will be in my prayers. You are always an inspiration.

  4. You know my heart. Thank you, Ladies.

  5. Happy for you that you will have your family closer to you. Wonderful news about Yolanda. She will be in my daily prayers for her and the baby.

  6. Thank You for the update on Sophia and Yolanda. I will keep Yolanda in my thoughts and prayers. I always enjoy reading about your family. I look forward to your posts,too. Your posts are always so interesting and inspiring. God Bless you and yours.

  7. I am rejoicing with you at all of your good news! I, too, will pray for Yolanda as the Lord brings her to mind!

  8. Thank you for the joyful news! Our children are about an hour and a half from us. That distance allows regular visits with relative ease. I am delighted to hear that Yolanda is expecting a child. I will pray for her and her little one.


  9. What a blessed and busy summer you have ahead! I am so happy for you and your daughters. I live about 15 minutes from my mom, and I am grateful to have her near by. I will be sure to keep Yolanda in my prayers!

  10. Praying for you and your family. May the Lord bless you for all you do. May you feel His peace as you await this new little one.

  11. I'm so excited for Yolanda, and I'm excited for you all with Sophia and family moving closer!

    I've had some children who loved to sketch and were pretty good at it.

  12. Dear Karen,

    Thank you for another lovely post! Art time is one of my most treasured times in homeschool, just letting everyone explore their talents in their own way.
    So happy that your girls will be closer to you (and the grandchildren).

  13. Dear Karen,
    Thank you again for another wonderful post. Will be praying for your daughters and families. Everytime I Read your posts I feel like I have just sat down with a friend and we had a good talk. God bless you during all the future changes. Am excited for your new book.
    Your friend, Debbie

  14. What a blessing. I know she has been praying for this a long time. We will continue to pray.

  15. Thank you for sharing all your exciting news! I am always happy to hear about your family, as I consider you an 'old' friend from the 'Parents' Review' days. I will pray for Yolanda and her baby.