Friday, December 17, 2010

Week 14 in Review: What a Weird Week!

Last week was our official end of regular lessons, but this week we attended a three-day art class with Barry Stebbing, author of art curriculum entitled How Great Thou Art.  What made the class extra-special was that we had the honor of hosting Mr. Stebbing and his lovely wife in our home from Sunday to Thursday.  They were lovely guests and we had a wonderful visit with them.  Unfortunately, however, things were complicated by the fact that our Molly came down with a terrible case of croup while they were here.  By Wednesday afternoon she had developed a bad earache and cough, had to miss her last day of art class, did not sleep at all that night due to the horrible cough.  I was sad to have to miss the third day of class, but this is parenthood.  So the Stebbings left on Thursday while I was with Molly at the clinic.  A shot, two nebulizer treatments and enough pain reliever to numb a horse finally brought her cough under control, and she fell asleep with her head on the kitchen counter, poor baby.  She slept about 14 hours last night and is finally no longer coughing uncontrollably.  She has sore muscles, a few side-effects from the albuterol, and is still pretty weak and running a fever, but at least she is no longer "barking."

Back to the art class and the Stebbings' visit...Matty and Molly loved the class.  I enjoyed the class as well, though I was not technically registered.  I sat with Molly and helped her, as he moved through the material VERY quickly, but she was, as I told her dad, "locked and loaded."  She did not take her eyes off of him the whole time, and she was able to follow along remarkably well.  Matty did very well, also, and thoroughly enjoyed the material.  On the first day the Stebbings arrived, Mr. Stebbing attempted to interest Matty in his sketch journals.  Matty told him rather bluntly, "I'm not interested in that because I don't think I would remember to do it."  By the end of the class, he was dying to get a journal so that he could begin right away.

The material that is covered in the 3-day class is very basic, fundamental drawing and painting.   As a classical educator, I really appreciated the approach because he hammers the essentials of art in a very structured way.  He teaches what we would call the "grammar" of drawing.  Perspective is presented on the most basic level, shading and mixing of color is understandable, and coloring from light to dark, using lines and dots to fill in make perfect sense.  I'm excited to see where we take this and to see how the kids do with the curriculum.  Matty also attends an art class once a week, but the approach to drawing is much different.  There they use a much more technical approach, drawing from a grid rather than life.  The combination of the two may be very effective.

So, in spite of my best intentions to take all kinds of wonderful photos at the workshop, I captured none...I was simply too busy to stop and get a look at things.  Hopefully I will be able to get a few pictures of the kids as they work on the curriculum...later.  As it is, I have a girl to get back to health, Christmas to prepare for, and rest to catch up on.  I also need to try not to end my sentences in prepositions, but don't feel like bothering right now.  sorry.

I'll write more around Christmas time.  I expect that I'll be taking a break this week unless something totally inspires me and I'm compelled to write.

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