Month: November 2010

Nature Study and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by HollyAnne Dobbins

A number of years ago, an artist-friend of mine recommended Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to make me feel less anxious about drawing. I perused the book but soon set it aside in favor of other reading. Then, this year the Nature Study workshop at the ChildLight USA conference that Mom and I teach was all a-buzz with talk of Betty Edwards’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Several conference attendees asked me what I thought of the book, especially as it connects to nature study. Curious, I ordered a copy of the book and started reading. Edwards’s thesis is simple: “Ability to draw depends on ability to see the way an artist sees . . . . most people never learn to see well enough to draw” (Edwards, 2). Therefore, if they can learn to see, they will be able to draw. So, how does one learn to see? Edwards insists the secret is in learning about the brain and, specifically, the functions of the right side of the …

From My Side of the Atlantic by Dr. John Thorley

The launch of the Charlotte Mason Digital Archive at Redeemer University College in Toronto early in October was a fascinating event. Thanks first of all to Dr. Deani Van Pelt, Marlene Power and all those who made the conference such a success. I have already been using the online images of the archive here in my study in Milnthorpe, because it is quicker and easier than making the 30 minute trip to Ambleside, or even to finding my own digital copies of selected documents on my own computer – and the quality of the images is much better than my digital photographs. Thanks to Deani and Marlene and their team for this marvellous resource. Since the Redeemer Conference I have spoken to two groups about Charlotte Mason. One was the Ambleside Local History Society. In the question session that followed my talk one fairly elderly lady said that she had attended the Practice School attached to the College in the 1930s, and gave us a brief but graphic first-hand account of the nature study, the …

Self Education in the Art Museum By Amber Benton

I was a freshman in college the first time I ever set foot in an art museum.  My prior art knowledge was limited to posters – Van Gogh’s Starry Night and a couple of his self portraits, Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory (though I did not know the name of the piece), and da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.  If I listed more than that it would be an exaggeration. My husband, David, will never let me forget that first evening in Charlotte’s Mint Museum of Art.  He loves to tell about a guard coming up to us and asking me not to touch the paintings – my ignorance really did abound!  That evening I wandered room and hall until my mind was saturated. At the end of my freshman year I left the college of engineering at UNCC and through a labyrinth of events and choices eventually settled into an Art Education major (which through an even more complex labyrinth I have yet to finish).  Since that very first evening I have sought out the art …