Monday, November 28, 2005


Survey of Sixth Grade A Class:

Favorite Artists:

Van Gogh-4
Leonardo da Vinci-1
The other two students: "I can't think of any artists." Wow, I'm so proud.

Favorite Project in Lower School Art:

Coil Pots
Pencil Self-Portraits
Clay Fish
Glue and Chalk Self-Portraits
Accordian Books

What were your most memorable art projects when you were young?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


The anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis was yesterday--the same day JFK was shot, in fact. Known by my husband as "Saint Clive's Day." I just finished Perelandra recently. I love it when it's been so long since you read something that you can't remember that much about it, only that you loved it! Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it....but I have to say that now that I've finished it, I still count the final book of the trilogy as my favorite---That Hideous Strength. I think it's how the supernatural, archetypal world descends on ordinary, damp, grey England that makes me really love it....the invisible world breaks into the visible one. (The first two books take place on other planets.)

Also, Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Monday, November 21, 2005

'Tis the Season...

For knitting!! I can't seem to want to pick up yarn and needles when it's hot outside, but as soon as the weather cools down I think about all the fun scarves I can knit and all the yarn possibilities!! If anyone is interested, I have a great "basketweave" pattern that is great for unisex scarves and baby blankets. With big needles and thick yarn it makes a great quick scarf.

Rox's Works-For-Everything Basketweave Stitch:

Multiple of 8 stitches
Rows 1,2,3, and 4 *K4, p4; rep from * to end
Rows 5,6,7 and 8 *P4, k4; rep from * to end
Repeat these 8 rows.

For baby blankets or scarves with a border stitch I just knit 4 at the beginning and end of each row, start the project with 4 to 8 knitted rows and end with 4 to 8 knitted rows.

Does that make any sense? I'm better at showing than explaining...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hello and Thank you!

Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm looking forward to co-blogging with Sweetpea from the Northeast.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Now there are two sweetpeas.

I've invited my best friend Roxana, aka "Wedding Girl," to join this blog. She's a photographer in Boston, and I'm excited to read her stories and thoughts here. Kind of a fun way for us to share a project, even though we live so far apart.

So, welcome Wedding Girl.....

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Me: Does anyone know what a still life is?

First Grade Student: It's a picture you make of a person who's very still, a person who's lazy and doesn't like to work.

old prof.

.....and for those of you who went to school with me, I found this drawing of Berry Klingman's on the CIVA website! Flashbacks....drawing I, drawing II, Intaglio I, Intaglio II, Serigraphy (sp), Woodcut, Figure Drawing. I spent alot of time with this man, and he taught me alot!

Poll: Who are your favorite artist(s)?

....As in, which artists do you feel connected to, that you respond to on an emotional or aesthetic level? (come on, lurkers, you guys can chip in, too.) :)

A few of mine:

Jim Dine's figure drawings
Renaissance-era botanical paintings
Rembrandt's landscape etchings

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Latest.

Here's our latest Picture Study.....Funny thing about "Night Watch," as the painting is called--they cleaned it awhile back and discovered that the title is probably inappropriate--that this is probably actually a DAY scene. Centuries of grime had darkened the painting. The work is huge, and full of symbols of the militia pictured. The girl in the yellow dress (yellow symbolizing victory) has a dead chicken around her waist (nice!). Chicken claws were a symbol for the Arquebusier militia, and the dead animal suggests a defeated enemy. There's an odd figure in mid-stride in front of the girl. The back of his helmet is decorated with oak leaves, another symbol of the militia.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Considering Cloth.

I have a confession to make. I don't have children, nor am I even pregnant, but I am obssessed with cloth diapers. I'm not sure how I even found out about the small subculture of passionate cloth diaperers, but somehow I did, and one of my favorite pasttimes right now is surfing the web looking at none other than diapers.....anyway, the other nite, curiosity finally got the better of me and I ordered one little Fuzzi Bunz cloth diaper over the net. Pale Green.

me: "Mom, I'm really fascinated by cloth diapers!!"
my mom: "Well, you woooon't beeeee! "

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Today a second-grade student described Rembrandt's face in this self-portrait as "rainbowy and like wood." If you could see the detail in the face of this painting, which unfortunately you probably can't, you would see that his adjectives are surprisingly appropriate. Up close, the face is almost impressionistic, with obvious brush strokes in golds, pinks, even blues and greys....and the brushstrokes are in a pattern that really does recall a "wood grain" texture. I'd just never thought of it that way!

I think the Explorer teachers at my school should post comments they hear from their kindergarten students during picture study time. I bet you guys hear some priceless observations. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Wee Little Soapbox.

Some of you know that I have a continuing fascination/respect for nurse-midwives, and hope to use one someday when I have children. My friend Mia will soon complete her midwifery training at Vanderbilt, and several friends have used midwives at their births (some at home, some at hospitals.) I love the whole philosophy....As I've researched, I've been shocked to discover that the U.S. ranks 21st in infant mortality rates. Yes, you read that right--20 developed countries have BETTER (or lower) infant mortality rates than we do. Many of those countries (Holland, for example,) use midwives as a norm in their hospitals. Midwife-attended homebirths are also much more common (30-40% of births.) While there are already studies showing that, statistically, giving birth at home with a midwife is as safe (or safer) than at a hospital, recently the British Medical Journal published what seems to be a particularly strong study:

It was found that the intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate for homebirths was on par with what other studies have shown for hospital births, while the rate for medical inverventions was much lower for the homebirth group as compared to the hospital birth group. In other words, for low risk women, homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth, and hospital birth is just as safe as homebirth, from a statistical standpoint. Of the 5418 women, 655 (12.1%) were transferred to the hospital, mostly for epidural medication (4.7%) or cesarean delivery (3.7%), indicating medical intervention rates astoundingly lower than the national average (19% in 2000 for low risk women). The intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate was calculated at 1.7 deaths for every 1000 planned home births, after breech and twin deliveries were excluded (since they don’t qualify as low risk). This is consistent with the findings of other studies of planned home births and low risk hospital births. No maternal deaths occurred.

(Quoted from

You can find the study on (British Medical Journal site)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Maundy Monday.

I gave someone a discipline warning for an interesting reason today.....I turned around and one of my more dramatic 3rd grade girls was standing on her stool doing a pirouhette. Obviously my students are pretty tame, since this was a bit shocking. I was talking last nite with a guy who goes to my church. He teaches art in a school where many of his students don't speak English, with up to 37!!! students per class. Sounds like a recipe for chaos. I know the economics of overcrowding are complicated, but it makes me angry that low-income kids get the shaft when they, of all people, need nurture. Talk about being set up for failure--as a teacher AND as a student. It makes me realize once again that I'm in the promised land.....and makes me wonder it I'll ever be called back into the wilderness.

Project update:
3rd thru 6th are doing some version of a self-portrait, due to Rembrandt.

1st Graders are getting ready to start a sharpie contour still life.

2nd Graders are going to construct a clay self-portrait. I did this several years ago, with good results.

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