Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sketchbook Tuesday - connections

Well, you can see that my stitching of this hand made sketchbook isn't as tight as it could have been. Oh well. Next time. This is how my paper white bulbs look now. The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, found in my current reading, The American Transcendentalists, Essential Writings, edited by Lawrence Buell.

I have long been interested in the Transcendentalist movement beginning with my reading of Thoreau's Walden back when I was a high school student and again with an American Literature class in college. I decided to revisit this interest and have begun with this volume by Buell. Since I have embarked on my 100 painting project, which will be largely inspired by landscape, I am also inspired to study more about landscape painters. For some time now I have been particularly intrigued by the painters of the Hudson River School. While researching reading material I discovered these artists were influenced by the Transcendentalists. A connection. So I have two books lined up to continue on this research theme of American landscape painters and the philosophical inspiration behind them, Nature and Culture, by Barbara Novak and American Wilderness by Barbara Babcock Millhouse. Landscape has been an interest of mine for a very long time and I am excited to be taking the topic further through such strongly connected research.

Another connection is that a new blog has been started by Katherine Tyrrell on the very subject of landscape. The Art of the Landscape appears to be off to a great start and I am sure will be a valuable resource with much careful research.
But the connection goes even further for me. It turns out that the Transcendentalists were influenced by the German writer and philosopher, Goethe. Who wrote Theory of Colours. And influenced Rudolf Steiner. Rudolf Steiner developed the Waldorf educational method. A model that we follow (loosely) in our homeschool. Through my home educational research over the years I am very impressed with the Waldorf method and if we had a Waldorf school in our area I would have given it serious consideration for Kiddo. I have read several books on the topic of Waldorf education but nothing by Steiner himself. Or Goethe for that matter. They are going on my list though. If you have book recommendations on any of these topics I would love to hear them.

12 comments:

nanke's stuff said...

Great post and wonderful drawings. We wanted to send our little nipper to the Steiner School in Ann Arbor, but sadly, couldn't afford it. That was over 25 years ago! Now that we can afford it, he's a bit too old. lol nancy

Possum Patty said...

Enjoyed your post! Very interesting, I love the way you are discovering connections. Nice journal pages, too.

Alex said...

Very interesting post indeed! I love how the colors fade into the outlines, it's a very nice touch!

Shirley said...

Ann,
The gaps are impossible to eliminate if you are binding watercolor paper, although you can reduce them significantly by "gluing the spine." Email me if you want to know how to do that. In my recycled books, I just glue in a strip of endpaper or watercolor paper when the gap bothers me.
Shirley

AutumnLeaves said...

I so need to do one of these art journals! I love what all of you do with them. For some reason, my active imagination decides to simply take flight when I think on them. Anyway, Ann, your mention of the Hudson River School brought to mind another blog I follow in which the artist is doing HRS paintings. Here is a link if you are interested in seeing her work: http://connietom.blogspot.com/ I hadn't even heard of it before (I'm teaching myself as I go along), but I had found her blog somehow (I forget now). Another blogger, Jan Bledcowe, recently did a post on a Hudson River School artist and his views, so I spent a bit of time looking things up online. I love learning new things and your post has added more to my ever growing list! Anyway, great job on keeping that flower pot connected on your open journal page!

Phyllis said...

Wonderful pages and post (funny, we visited the newly re-opened local botanical garden yesterday with friends). I appreciate the book references (making a list).

Ellen said...

Pretty painting, great quote! And very interesting information. Emerson has been a long time favorite of mine. Good post, Ann!

donna said...

This is funny, I just added an Emerson quote to my blog today.

Anyway, terrific work.

Ann said...

Thanks all for your comments, info and links!
Nanke, I'm sure we could never afford a private school either - but I sometimes wish. . .
Shirley, I left a comment on your blog! Thanks!

Teresa said...

Thanks for reminding me that I've been wanting to read more Emerson... headed off to Amazon now to see what I find!

theamplegoddess said...

I'll have to read up on Transcendentalists. I like the sketch of the emerging bulbs. I tried to sketch my daffodils but it didn't come out well. You couldn't tell the plants from bits of rock. I'll try again when they're larger.

Ellen Read said...

Your comments about the Transcendentalists reminds me of the Winona Ryder version of Little Women where the director/producers felt the freedom to borrow more from Louisa May Alcott's life rather than just her books. It made for some lovely overlap and greater understanding of LM Alcott and her family (and her neighborhood) for the average American viewer.

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