Today I expected good things. After several months of listening to Wayne Dyer audio books for inner work (hot tip from my mentor, who amongst other things, offers both kicks in the pants and virtual hugs you can feel from coast to coast!), I feel like I opened the door to a new world. In this new world, I have permission to always expect the best and visualize a life of pure abundance- without feeling presumptuous or over-indulgent. It’s as if someone threw open the doors to a spiritual candy shop, and whenever you take a piece, several more magically appear in its place. In fact, that really is how it is in the spiritual realms- which are something of an “opposite world” regarding the physical laws which govern matter. Here on earth, we have a concept called “scarcity”, where if you use something up, you sense depletion. In the heavenlies, when you use something up, it spontaneously multiplies. Love, peace, joy- they are regular octomoms (ok, so maybe that is not the best comparison, LOL!).
So, it was an expected surprise to stroll into the food pantry yesterday (my husband recently quit his job in corporate America to follow his dream vocation and started a new business, so we are living on faith here- and that must sound odd coming from someone who is giving away a bunch of pricey Waldorf things, but I had them laying around anyways and I felt spiritually led to do the giveaway as a statement of my faith that I am living an abundant life and will have all my needs met!), and find huge boxes of books being given away. I had been wanting some new story books for my children, and these were beautiful, brand new, picture books of Native American legends, trickster tales, naturalist books, and Robert Frost poetry for children! I can’t wait to surprise my boys, who have been visiting family this week- I will probably tie the books into our annual treasure hunt first-day-of-the-school year kick-off (see the past two years’ enchanting first days here and here).
Then, today upon returning from errands, I returned home to find another box… a long awaited box that I knew would randomly show up one day from Steiner Books. It contained hot-off-the-press copies of the new book, “Drawing With Hand, Head, and Heart- A Natural Approach to Learning the Art of Drawing”.
Back in January, I spotted these in the 2013 Steiner Books catalog and added them to our Cedar Ring Circle catalog for members to order, not realizing it was still in the process of being published. Those who ordered back then are in for a treat! I kept them on backorder for those who wished, so that we’d be the first people to get our hands on new copies, and those copies will ship now. If you didn’t order then, feel free to order one now with our current Cedar Ring Circle order.
I stayed up late enjoying this book, and it really is like a mini-curriculum on learning to draw. It covers each age and grade, showing which techniques would be introduced in a Waldorf education setting- the why’s, the how’s, the when’s. I learned quite a few valuable tidbits. For instance, I learned it may be wise to delay the introduction of block crayons to kindergarten and even grade one children until they exhibit a proper pencil grip, as the shape of the block crayons can cause difficulties establishing a proper pencil and stick crayon grip; Steiner work with an artist in his day to establish a unique form of drawing based on slanted lines which helps avoid “outlining” when drawing, and is really quite beautiful; and creating a self-portrait of yourself, at any age, can be a means of discovering who you really are in this world.
So far, I think my favorite part of this book is the chalkboard drawing section. There are numerous pictures showing a chalkboard image start to finish in various stages, enabling one to get a feel for how to proceed in making your own. It also discusses which elements to include and how to deepen the dimensionality of the chalkboard drawing over time, as the child develops. It reassured me, as well, that my “beginner” attempts at chalkboard drawing are actually fortunate, since we want to keep them simple for the young child.
In addition, there is a lengthy section on form drawing with many, many forms, with lengthy notes as to which ones are appropriate for what age. Stories are not included to accompany the forms, so you will need to bring imagination to them if you are looking to use this book as a basis for teaching form drawing. There are over 500 illustrations and many of them are in full color. It is a delightful book, and has simultaneously reassured me and challenged me in my own personal artistry.
In wrapping up the review, I will share a quote from St. Frances of Assisi in the book:
The laborer works with his hands, the craftsman works with his hands and his head, the artist works with his hands, his head, and his heart.
May we all strive to be artists at life!