Homeschool To Do List, Part 4 — Appreciate Art

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One of the objectives on our Homeschool To Do List was: Appreciate art and music. Today I would like to share one way that our children learned to appreciate art.

One of the best ways to appreciate anything is to try it yourself. When we learned from fellow homeschoolers that a local minister’s wife gave weekly group drawing lessons in her home for only $6 per student (including all materials!), we got on her list! Miss Judy couldn’t take all four of us immediately, so Mary Evelyn went first. Eventually spots opened up for John, Bethany, and me, too.

Miss Judy had a small studio in her basement. Our class had about fifteen students who sat side-by-side at tables around the room. Miss Judy got us started each week by having all of the students do a quick drawing of the same simple subject. Then, each of us returned to our personal on-going project. Miss Judy went from student to student and gave helpful input to each of us.

Each student began with a 2B art pencil drawing on paper. After that, we could create drawings with either pencil or colored pencils. For our colored pencil drawings, we used Miss Judy’s large supply of Prismacolor colored pencils. I am a fan of Prismacolor products, having first used them on maps when I studied urban planning in college. I have now used their colored pencils, colored markers, and watercolor pencils. I like them all.

Miss Judy had art shows for her students. When these occurred, I always had lots of drawings to mat and frame. I saved money by purchasing my own simple mat cutter. Back then we could find wooden frames at Dollar General and at a local frame outlet. Because of these art shows, we have lots of framed drawings around our house, including these:

Art Class -- John
John’s Lighthouse in Pencil
Art Class -- Bethany
Bethany’s Rose in Pencil
Art Class -- Mary Evelyn
Mary Evelyn’s Fawn in Pencil
Art Class -- Charlene
My Woods Floor in Colored Pencil

Ray didn’t study drawing with us when we were taking lessons from Miss Judy; but a few years later, he completed the Drawing Textbook by Bruce McIntyre. I love the philosophy Mr. McIntyre explained in its introduction:

  • Drawing is a skill that can be learned, just like handwriting.
  • Drawing is a skill that everyone needs.

I agree. While the Bible is clear that God gives some people special artistic talents (see Exodus 35:35), I believe that any person who is motivated from within and encouraged by someone who cares can learn to draw.

I also believe that drawing is a helpful skill. If nothing else, you might need to explain to someone how you want your bathroom remodeled or something!

Our drawing class was also one more lesson in diligence. I don’t remember any student in the class ever having an unfinished drawing. Week after week we returned to our drawing project. When it was completed, we had the joy of completion and we got to start a new drawing!

A lazy man does not roast his prey,
But the precious possession of a man is diligence.
Proverbs 12:27

The class also gave us livelong friends. We still stay in touch with Miss Judy and with one of our classmates.

I loved learning with our children. Of course, homeschooling mothers do that all the time, but taking a class together is a special memory.

 

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  1. Such beautiful art. I am terrible at trying to teach art. I want a good book so Jordan can learn, (me too) all the pictures were beautiful!!!

    • Thank you!! Our daughter Mary Evelyn has written a book called Learn to Draw which we sell at Notgrass Company. You might give that a try. After that you could try one of the five books in our Draw to Learn series. First, you “learn to draw” and then you “draw to learn!” You can go to http://www.notgrass.com to find all of those.