This past week was the calm before Hurricane Ian, and some of the quiet after the storm passed. The pears would not make it beyond the two days we planned to close school. I took them all home, worked on my drawing, and made pear crisp. It was delicious. I was lucky to be safe at home, and our neighborhood is in good shape. The brief hours without electricity were instructive and peaceful--out power came back on before the weather turned hot again. I look forward to getting back to focusing on these mundane and beautiful moments with my students at school.
This is my own progress on the longer drawing (the first of the semester) we started in Studio Art 1 a week ago. I had some catching up to do. Though I encourage my students to work silently, I often find myself addressing a drawing problem common to the group in my 'presentation' voice. I weigh this against the value of the once-quiet atmosphere before going into 'lecture mode'. Sometimes it's better to let the artist sit with the frustration or just to back away from one's own work, and so sometimes I will just keep drawing. But when I spend too much time away from my demonstration drawing, I later need to catch up. This was an enjoyable and soothing use of my time while we waited for Hurricane Ian to pass over us. Below are progress shots of my nearly complete drawing.
What does it mean to be a lifelong learner? It doesn’t mean being ‘stuck’ in school interminably—or I would be in 46th grade! It does mean that I get to follow my curiosity about the good, true, and beautiful wherever it leads.
Medieval cathedrals are one of the beautiful things that fourth graders study at Naples Classical Academy. As their art teacher, I wanted to know more, so I took an online class on cathedrals taught by a professor of art history.
At the same time, my family was planning a summer trip to England, so when I learned about the art and architecture of York Minster in my Cathedrals class, I lobbied to spend a week in the City of York, and to stay within walking distance of this magnificent cathedral.
I have a passion for soaring arches and massive stained glass windows, so I researched and prepared a presentation on York Minster for my family so that I could show them what I found so beautiful. I created a lesson to share with my multi-generational “class”, ages 8 - 84.
While in York, I toured the inside and outside of York Minster with private guides, and took photographs for future teaching. Some of the facts I learned about the York Minster were new to me, and I had the opportunity to ask about how the windows were made, watch stone carvers making reproductions in their outdoor studio, and to see the Minster from many angles both up close and from high up on the ancient city walls.