chalk art

Why Waldorf Chalk Drawing?

Chalk art in the Waldorf curriculum is a medium for extending the storytelling that is happening. It is a medium for enlivening the curriculum through pictures.

In Waldorf Education, it is always through storytelling that the images arrive. Surrounded by story, the children live into their imaginations and each will create mental pictures unique (and most meaningful) to them. Through the artistic activities that follow the review portion of a lesson, the children are able to live into the story experience again. Here they place their own feelings on it. This allows a true and unique connection to the content of the lesson.

Image: ©Waldorfish, all rights reserved

Image: ©Waldorfish, all rights reserved

“Children are more receptive to authority in teaching through art. Consequently, we can accomplish the most in this sense during this period of children’s lives using artistic methods. They will very effortlessly find their way into what we wish to communicate to them and take the greatest delight in rendering it by drawing or even painting. We should make sure, however, that they avoid merely imitative work.”

~Rudolf Steiner, in Rawson and Masters, Towards Creative Teaching, 1997

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“Ordinary everyday life can be portrayed in meaningful pictures and images. The teacher must fill with inner conviction and warmth the pictures he/she presents to the souls of the children. They can derive strength for the whole of their lives from lessons that stream from heart to heart rather than head to head.”

~Rawson and Masters, Towards Creative Teaching, 1997

Looking to improve your chalk drawings?

We have 2 courses that will help:

Learning art as a metaphor for living well.

Miranda Altice at The Indigo Teacher has been working her way through our Waldorf art training program, Waldorf Art for Beginners over the past few weeks. She has written about her process of shedding & peeling away the layers of anxiety and fear that so many of us carry when it comes to Art. We're sharing some of her revelations here, and you will find a link to her full piece below.

Taking the Waldorf Art for Beginner’s course from Waldorfish was honestly a  summer treat for myself and would, in turn, help me in my quest to teach tiny humans how to enjoy expressing themselves through art. 

But it taught me more than that. Robyn and Brian’s super simple, self-paced classes reminded me how to feel confident in my artwork… and in my life… both of which could turn out any which way the blank paper and unpredictable watercolors decide. 

A few things I learned… in metaphors:

  • Slow down. No really… SLOW DOWN. (There is no reason to rush through each part of the process. I even slowed down getting the paintbrushes to the table. And it felt good. I felt more in the moment, and my pace rubbed off on the kids.) 
  • Shut everything else out and OBSERVE.(Watch how the watercolors blend together and are in no rush to become something unique. Observe how the chalk clings to the fibers as it glides over the cardstock. Stop multi-tasking for just a moment and just be there.) 
  • Be PATIENT. (The colors will absorb, they will transform, and it’s not worth raising my blood pressure when it is not meant to turn out a certain way.)
  • TRUST the Process. (It’s just as much about the process as it is the end result, which may turn out better than expected. Even if it doesn’t, trusting the process and keeping my cool was so worth it.)
  • Don’t beat myself up, and don’t be afraid. (See 3 &4. One of my favorite things Brian said in his mellow tone during one of the videos was, “Don’t be afraid… it’s not supposed to look like anything in particular.”  I noticed myself going with the flow, trusting the process, and accepting the outcome… and also daring to swivel my brush a little more.)
  • FRAME it. (I’m allowed to admire my work and accept compliments without following up with negative, picky comments.)
  • Let GO. (Allow yourSelf the opportunity to be immersed in water to better prepare for absorption of watercolors – now contemplate that metaphor.)
  • Take what was learned off of the workspace and into the world. (I often advise this to my yoga students, “Take your practice off your mat.” The spiritual and emotional lessons learned are meant to enrich my life as a whole, not just while I’m sitting at my workspace.) 

As with yoga, I found my experience with diving into the Waldorfish classes to be a meditation in movement… one that I will continue to practice....

Read the full piece here.

Photo: Miranda Altice

Photo: Miranda Altice

Klimt inspired ...

Brian and I are excited to be curating a changing gallery of chalkdrawings on this 4' x 5' board in a local chiropractors office! Dr. Lynn loves Gustav Klimt & abstract art - Brian decided to start the series with a piece loosely inspired by Klimt's Tree of LifeWe will be changing the drawing out every 6-8 weeks and are thinking about working in the style of a different artist each time. Van Gogh inspired chalk art up next!