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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Once Upon A Time.....









Once upon a time I was an elementary school teacher (actually last year at this time) and these are some of the images I created in chalk. Ninety percent of what I do is oil paint, but when I taught I worked in chalk ---- not pastel, just blackboard chalk. After I told the children their morning lesson story, I would do the image that they would then put into their morning lesson books. You do the math: 175 days of school times 8 years -- a lot of stories and drawings. I told a story a day for all eight years beginning in first grade with Grimm's fairy tales and ending in eighth grade with stories of the Dust Bowl and Physics. We did everything from history, geography (maps of the entire world), math, chemistry, earth science, the inventions of the nineteenth century. The first picture was done in a 3rd-4th grade class (I was a sub. last year) -- one of those Norse myths as one of the heroes is sent off in his Viking ship to burn at sea. The giraffe and the alligator were done in the animal block and finally, my claim to fame --- the Waldorf Curriculum poster. This was done in colored pencil before I actually started teaching in 1995 and lithographed, about 1500 copies. The poster is still sold and hangs in numerous Waldorf school all over the United States. Many of my former parents purchased them for their home and the kids followed them as we went along through the years. My former class will be graduating high school in June this year. I've moved on to oil and watercolor. All those chalk drawings and I only brought my camera about a half dozen times -- the rest were erased. Oh, well, I had the fun of doing them.

7 comments:

Lynn Dykstra said...

Dust to dust...
I love these chalk drawings. The animals are wonderful, and the boat, ah, I can hear the story.

Jan said...

Steve, I'm so glad you've got a couple of your chalk drawings saved for posterity! They were truly wonderful, and I can't imagine that any Waldorf class had a more artistically-gifted teacher. I probably got to see more of your chalk drawings than most anybody outside of your class, and they were always an inspiration to me as well... (though my stuff was pretty pathetic). I will say that the "medium" of the Internet doesn't do those drawings justice.

Stefan Nuetzel said...

I love them too. These chalk drawings are so charming, good that you have photos of them.

Jennifer McChristian said...

Hi Steve,

It looks like you had a great time doing these wonderful little charcoals and I'm certain the students were just as thrilled.
They're deliciously delightful!

Slim Johnson said...

Thank you all. Lynn and Jan, since you are both Waldorf parents, I know you've seen this kind of drawings from your kids' books. Thanks, Stefan and Jennifer ---- it was a lot of fun for me doing these and flattering when the children in my class would bring students from other classes in to show them my work --- "See what our teacher did!!" In a way I was sorry to go, but teaching is a hard and demanding life that pays all too little --- kinda like art!!! HA!

Darcie said...

Dear Slim,

I am a Waldorf influenced homeschooling mom. I am following a Waldorf 1st Grade Syllabus (Christophorus) and we have stared creating our lesson books this year. I purchased small chalk boards for us to use for different things, and I really would like to imitate your process of using the boards for creating the lesson book illustrations. I am not a true artist as you are, but can get buy with some assistance. Do you sell a book or recommend a source of additional inspirational chalk drawings that might give examples of pictures from 1st or 2nd Grade Waldorf curriculum? Your work is truly amazing!

anahatapetal said...

Parents and children alike are enthralled by the copy of your "Waldorf Curriculum" that I have hanging in my Admissions Office. Is it possible to find, purchase, beg, any additional copies? People claim they have been fruitless in their searches.