HOME EDUCATION

The Fine Arts

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Articles in this section written by Jane Carol Raymond, Home Educator for 15 years and
Art Instructor at the Reformed Bible Church Home Educator's Academy in Virginia



The Fine Arts


 
Not a
Subject
To Be Ignored!



God
Created
Value


"Let there be Light..."

    

God
Created
Space

"Let there be a firmament..."


 God
Created

Shape

"Thou art the potter..."

 

God
Created Texture &
Line

"Let the earth bring forth grass..."

Coming Soon


 God Created
C
OLOR 

"I do set my bow
in the cloud..."
 


Ilya Repin


God's Providence Behind the Iron Curtain


 

 



Mouth 
&
 Foot 
Painting

APPRECIATING ABILITIES

"I can do all things..."



 

Jean-François
Millet

"Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fine Arts
Not a Subject to Be Ignored!

By Mrs. Jane Carol Raymond

I was always a lover of art. As long as I can remember I loved working with colors and shapes. One of the earliest memories I have regarding this was when I painted my rendition of a pumpkin. I was only 5 years old, and I was so proud that I had made the pumpkin orange, rather than purple like some children did. Mom hung up my picture on a window of our little apartment, facing the street. I was content. I was able to actually see an accomplishment I had done in school. Unlike math, vocabulary, reading or penmanship, I was able to share my finished project with the ‘whole world’. Art was my favorite subject, and it was something I enjoyed throughout my school years.

Now that I am educating my own children at home, it is no wonder why much of my teaching has some kind of graphic approach, or art flair associated with it. My children enjoy learning this way. Not only do they understand things better, but they usually have an easier time remembering what they have learned.

I recently read something concerning the fine arts that I believe every home educating parent should know. I have always felt a personal need for the arts, but I was so excited to learn that every Christian teacher can, and should, use its benefits to enhance the education of their children, even if they are not a "Rembrandt". You may be wondering how in the world you would be able to teach a subject that you may feel so inept to teach, or why this subject would even be important. There is a very simple reason to both of these questions: God ordains it.

One of the most beloved children of God wrote in Psalm 27: "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple." David knew that there was something very special in the appreciation of God’s beauty. The reason David was compelled to "seek after" this attribute of God was simply because he was a child of God. "The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." (Ps. 111:2) If we truly are children of God, should we not have pleasure in seeking out the works of the LORD?

One of the most vivid ways to see God’s beauty is through His creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God…" There is no other, in the whole world, whose color, design, harmony or composition relating to art could be more perfect than the Master Artist. The perfect balance and beauty of a ‘simple’ flower that is duplicated by an artist can only be as beautiful in the replica because the original design was so beautiful. All things, even art, begin first from The Source, which is God Himself.

Have you ever met a young child who does not enjoy his or her art lessons? Every child I have met loves experimenting with crayons, color and design. Art experimentation is one of the very first ways in which young people can express themselves. They can ‘say’ things on paper that they may not know how to express verbally.

When a person comes in contact with the real beauty of God through His creation, he finds a connection with, and sensitivity toward God that no other subject in school can teach. It is a quiet time of inner joy and real appreciation for the Creator’s wonders, which exist all around, but are very often unnoticed due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is a wonderful reflective time with their Heavenly Father, right in the middle of a ‘school day’. Is it any wonder why art is the first subject removed when a secular school is experiencing financial difficulty?

Much of the first century church could not read or write, so in order to keep God’s message alive from generation to generation, they would draw pictures. The history of art became more of "HIS-story". Throughout the ages, fine art has served as a kind of history journal for the culture in which the artists lived. We learn much about a culture by looking at the type of art produced in its particular time period. What do you think future generations would learn from the popular artwork depicted in today’s museums?

Our culture has sadly grown far from good taste and sensitivity toward Godliness. Even if a school (and regretfully, most home schoolers as well) has an art program, it usually consists of the basics, or some craft idea. The Christian educator must be dedicated to nurturing the senses and good tastes of the child – to reach for the highest standards. As in all subjects, we must "see God" in it. Just as we try to train our children’s brains to think and their hands to write, we must also train their senses to enjoy God’s beauty. Any way that a child can express the beauty of God from his inner heart on to paper will be a tremendous sense of freedom for that child, as well as appreciation of the simple pleasures from their Heavenly Father.

Proper fine arts education will achieve many other benefits as well as nurture the sensitivity of a child. It will expand his understanding of the world around him, thus build his confidence in other subjects. He will more likely do better overall because of the confidence instilled and the relaxation it can bring to his mind. True learning takes place in a child when the ‘whole’ is taught. Art will round out the education scope in areas typical subjects can not. The fine arts will cultivate good tastes and attention to detail. And above all, it will help give them more of a knowledge of God, His beauty and His character, as well as a greater respect for His masterpiece: creation.

One last point I’d like to make. I mentioned earlier that virtually every young child loves art. It is usually because the acquaintance with it in later years has been taken away that they lose touch with it, and ultimately lose respect for it. Art is like writing, math, science, or history. If you never work at it, you simply lose the knowledge of it. What is so amazing is that art is probably the easiest of all the subjects to incorporate into your lessons. Math, science, history, writing can all be taught through the eyes of a little artist who sees the beauty of the Lord. And if that little artist is allowed to continue with such a special way of understanding of God’s world and His beauty throughout his schooling years, one can only imagine what great things he could achieve later in life.

Excerpts inspired by Stonebridge Art Guide, a Christian History Curriculum Guide for teaching and learning art in the American Christian Principle Approach. For additional information or suggestions regarding the art education of your child, email the ITR at Pastor@hisglory.us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fine Arts
Not a Subject to Be Ignored

By Mrs. Jane Carol Raymond

God Created: Value
Overview

In God’s majestic design and order, there are 6 basic elements that encompass perfect beauty, or what we are more familiar with, the fine arts. These elements of design are: value, color, space, shape, line and texture. Art can not be accomplished without these things.

Just like any other subject we teach our children, once the foundations are understood, and the applications tried, a final work can be accomplished. The foundations in the fine arts are the basic elements that God has created. Once these are learned and practiced, anyone can enjoy art in their life, and ultimately appreciate the beauty of God all around him. 

Since it is God Who created each one of the elements of perfect beauty, no man in the truest sense can be called a “master” artist. Artists, who have understood God’s elements of design and have mastered their uses and application, are referred to as ‘master’ artists. By observing the masterpieces they have achieved, we can glean better insight into the incredible harmony of God’s elements of design and beauty. 

Introduction to Value

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” …” Then God said, “Let their be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.” (Gen. 1:1-3)

“Then God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night.” (Gen. 1:16)  

Definition of Value: the degree of lightness or darkness of an object

Explain to student: 

Without light, there is complete darkness. Light reveals tones and depth. ‘Value’ only exists because God created light. There can never be any value without light.

Observation:

Every color holds a certain amount of value. This can be understood better by copying paintings (or, perhaps, landscape pictures from magazines) in both full color and black & white. By observing the same composition in color and black & white, the student can notice more clearly the value the colors possess. They can also observe the areas of emphasis regarding depth or shadows. Discuss where the light source is coming from. Sometimes there are more than one light source, thus creating overlapping tones and various angles of shadows.

Another, more obvious, way of emphasizing different tonal value among colors is to make (or have the student make) a quick array of colors with crayons or markers and then copy them in black & white. 

Paste the black & white copy under the original as a chart for later reference in their studies.

Application
(lesson suggestions)

Create a graduating scale of tones, beginning with pure white, and ending with pure black. This can be achieved with simple crayons beginning with black, then easing up on the pressure of the crayon to as light as possible. Somewhere in the center of what was just colored, begin very lightly with a white crayon, then gradually press harder as you pass the lightest area previously colored, until pure white is reached.