Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And now, where are we going?

colored pencil on pastel board
8" x 10"

copyright 2007
AnnThompson Nemcosky


colored pencil on pastel board
8" x 10"
copyright 2007 Ann Thompson Nemcosky

"One never goes so far as when one doesn't know where one is going."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So what does this quote have to do with art and homeschooling? How can these two subjects possibly be related? Well, in my life they have very much in common. Education, or rather learning, opens up endless possibilities. When I began our homeschooling journey I used a highly structured curriculum with my young daughter. We knew exactly where we were going each day, week, month, and year. To the end of the worksheet, the end of the chapter, the end of the text book. But did learning happen? Maybe. But it was a struggle. Obviously it wasn't long before we left the highly structured curriculum for a kind of learning that is more open ended. It took me a while but I finally did see that the point wasn't to complete the exercise.
It's about the journey, not the end result. The purpose of education is, or should be, to instill a desire to learn.

Now, although I thought I had my goals as an artist firmly established oh, say 9 years ago, having a long awaited child made for a lot of changes. As a new parent, art was put on the back burner. There would be more time once this child started school. I could pick up teaching more classes and have more time for my art. I was content waiting. It was all good. Then we found we had a child with a life threatening food allergy. Sending her to school was too overwhelming. We were convinced the school would not be responsible enough with her life. So we began our homeschooling adventure. None of this was in the original plan. We never thought we'd be going this way. I immersed myself in learning everything I could about education and homeschooling. Now I can confidently say that home education is the best educational choice for our family.

But what happened to my art? Before my daughter came along I had been working in acrylics and oils on sometimes fairly large canvases. I finally began drawing again a little over a year ago. Graphite drawings of landscapes. Landscapes because this
has always been an important subject to me. Graphite because it required little space, I could work at the kitchen table. There are no fumes or mess and I can work on a drawing in short spurts, between refilling juice glasses and folding laundry. This was all fine but my work wasn't going anywhere. Then one day while waiting for my daughter when she was in an art class, I picked up an art magazine and saw an article about using colored pencil. A little while later I started putting color into my graphite landscapes. Then reading about colored pencil artists. This lead to more experiments with the colored pencil medium. I was finally excited again about making art. I had found a medium that fit my needs and I had an interest in exploring further. None of this was in any plan. It was exactly because I didn't have a predetermined destination that I was more open to learning. So where will all this take me? I don't know yet. I'll have to wait and see.


Kasie Sallee said...

Welcome to blogging! Your work is beautiful!! It is so true that sometimes God leads us in ways that we wouldn't have chosen on our own, and yet they end up being more wonderful than we could have planned. I have experienced that.
I look forward to reading your blog and seeing your work.
Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog.

Ann said...

Thank you Kasie!
I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. And I really like your cp drawing too! As I mentioned, your posts are often right in line with what I am feeling as well. Must be an artist/mom thing!
Thanks again,


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